Founders

DirectSens was founded by five graduates of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU). During their preceding scientific careers involving intensive research in the fields of enzymology and biosensors, the founders became aware of promising innovations that were never commercially used. The patented research results relating to the enzyme cellobiose dehydrogenase (CDH) and its potential commercial use in biosensors for the analysis of carbohydrates exhibited so much potential that the DirectSens team took the initiative itself.

Christoph Sygmund, PhD

Co-Founder and CEO

During his academic career at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna Christoph Sygmund acquired experience in the field of biotechnology and microbiology. He graduated with a Master degree in 2003 and a Ph.D. in 2008. During his postdoctoral research activities he applied his expertise in protein engineering for the optimization of biocatalysts for industrial biotechnological processes. In 2013 Christoph Sygmund was founding member
of the DirectSens GmbH and is heading the company as CEO.

Roman Kittl, PhD

Co-Founder and COO

As a graduate of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria, Roman Kittl holds a Master degree in Food Science and Biotechnology and a PhD in Biotechnology and Biochemistry. After working on several research projects as a Postdoc including an Erwin-Schroedinger fellowship project at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, he is now project leader of two research projects funded by the Austrian Science Foundation (FWF). He is as COO part of the Management Team of DirectSens.

DI Alfons Felice

Co-Founder and CTO

Early on during his undergraduate studies in biotechnology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Alfons Felice worked in the field of bioelectrochemistry. During his master thesis he became part of the development team of DirectSens and such has contributed to the company since 2009. He was involved in the basic research and has focused on his Ph.D. studies in the field of biochemistry and bioelectrochemistry in Vienna and Canada as a fellow of the Austrian academy of science. In 2015 he joined the executive team and is now responsible for the commercialization of the technology platform.

Wolfgang Harreither, PhD

Co-Founder

Wolfgang studied Food and Biotechnology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences. Throughout his diploma thesis he started to work on the basic research behind the DirectSens Technology under the supervision of Roland Ludwig and Lo Gorton (University of Lund, Sveden). Inspired by this exiting results he continued to work on this topic in the group of Roland Ludwig and Lo Gorton during his doctoral thesis. During two postdoctoral positions he sharpened his knowledge in molecular modeling (Austrian Center of Industrial Biotechnology, ACIB GmbH) and electrochemistry (Prof. Ewing, University of Gothenburg). Since July 2012 he is working for a private company as project manager in the R&D division dealing with the development and registration of medical devices.

Roland Ludwig, PhD

Co-Founder

A native of Vienna, Roland Ludwig received his doctoral degree in biochemistry and biotechnology from BOKU – University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna in 2004. He worked for five years as a researcher and project manager on the development of industrial biocatalytic processes at the Research Centre Applied Biocatalysis (now: ACIB – Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology). In 2009 he was awarded an APART fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences to investigate electron transfer reactions of redox enzymes at Lund University, Sweden. He joined BOKU in 2011 again and habilitated in 2015. Currently he is leading a research group focused on biosensing and biocatalysis.

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