Associate Professor Silas Villas-Boas
Dr Silas Villas-Boas is an Associate Professor at the School of Biological Sciences, The University of Auckland, with a scientific career focused primarily on microbial physiology, metabolomics and biodiscovery of bioactive metabolites.
My research focuses on the genome mining of unique New Zealand fungi for genetic clusters responsible for the production of pigments, with the objective of exploring their use as natural substitutes of food colouring dyes.
The aim of the project is to sequence, assemble and annotate the full genome of the E. purpurascens strain and reconstruct its metabolic network to identify gene clusters and pathways associated with biosynthesis of secondary metabolites.
The main goal of this project will be to optimize bioconversion fermentation process for fruit residues developed at laboratory scale using apple pomace as a model while adapting the technology to the needs (and opportunities) of New Zealand primary industries
Alex’s research aims to elucidate the mode of action of epicoccaene; a novel antifungal compound derived from the fungus Epicoccum purpurascens. It is a water-soluble orange-yellow pigmented secondary metabolite that was discovered in the Metabolomics lab at the University of Auckland.
Raphael is a PhD candidate whose research aims to investigate antimicrobial compounds derived from natural sources with the prospective application as aerosols for air sanitization.
The aim of my project is to produce natural fragrance and flavour additives from primary industry waste products. This is part of a wider initiative to add value to New Zealand biological resources with the Bioresource Processing Alliance.
From left to right: Alastair Harris, Mikhail Fokin, Raphael Bang, Silas Villas-Boas, Alex Lee, Ninna Granucci, Alasdair Robertson, Francios Olivier