Dr Yosephine Gumulya

FaBA Future Academic Leader in Prec

School of Agriculture and Food Sustainability
Faculty of Science


Yosephine Gumulya has a degree in Food Technology (2004) from Bogor Agricultural University (Indonesia) and a Master of Biotechnology (2007) from Technical University Hamburg Harburg (Germany). She completed her PhD in 2010 at Max Planck Institute for Coal Research (Germany), where she learned how to mimic the natural evolution in laboratory and use this technique to generate novel enzymes for biotechnology applications. After spending 1.5 years working for food industry in Spain, in October 2012, she decided to pursue an academic career by doing postdoctoral research in the lab of Prof Elizabeth Gillam and A.Prof. Mikael Boden. Her research has focused on protein engineering and ancestral sequence reconstruction. This knowledge is essential for understanding the protein evolutionary histroy as well for creating robust yet promiscous enzymes for industrial applications.

Research Interests

  • Ancestral protein reconstruction
    Hypothesising that the Earth was hot in ancient times, resurrecting ancestral proteins in the laboratory can generate robust proteins that useful for industrial applications.
  • Protein Engineering / Directed evolution
    Mimicking the natural evolution in the laboratory can create biocatalysts with suitable properties for industrial applications (e.g. selectivity, activity, stability)

Research Impacts

A major limitation of industrial process development is the lack of robust enzymes with novel functions or suitable properties for industrial application. With laboratory-based methods (protein engineering and ancestral sequence reconstruction), we have generated stable yet promiscuous enzymes that can be used to generate drug metabolites. As a result, it will significantly speed up the drug development pipeline and, more importantly, reduce the cost of overall drug discovery process.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Ruhr University Bochum


View all Publications


Book Chapter

  • Zaugg, Julian, Gumulya, Yosephine, Gillam, Elizabeth M. J. and Bodén, Mikael (2014). Computational tools for directed evolution: a comparison of prospective and retrospective strategies. Directed evolution library creation: methods and protocols. (pp. 315-333) edited by Elizabeth M. J. Gillam, Janine N. Copp and David F. Ackerley. New York, NY, United States: Humana Press. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-1053-3_21

Journal Article