Wim Soetaert

Affiliation1) Professor, InBio.be, Centre of Expertise, Industrial Biotechnology and Biocatalysis, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University    2) INBIOSE, Ghent Belgium

Short Biography:

Prof. Wim Soetaert holds a degree in chemical and biochemical engineering and did a PhD in bioengineering at Ghent University. He currently heads the Centre of Expertise for Industrial Biotechnology and Biocatalysis (InBio.be) at Ghent UniversityFaculty of BioScience Engineering. InBio is active in the areas of industrial biotechnology, biocatalysis, fermentation science and engineering and counts about 40 people. www.inbio.be
He is the founder and chairman of Ghent Bio-Economy Valley, a public private partnership to promote the development of biobased activities in the Ghent area in Belgium. Since its creation in 2005, Ghent Bio-Energy Valley has quickly grown into one of the main growth centers for the biobased economy in Europe, with over 500 Million euros already invested in the port of Ghent. www.gbev.org
Prof. Wim Soetaert is also the director of the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant, an open innovation Pilot Plant for biobased products and processes based in Ghent. Within the framework of an Interreg project, over 21 Million euros have been invested in Bio Base Europe sofar. www.bbeu.org
Prof. Wim Soetaert is the founder and chairman of Inbiose, a spin-off company of Ghent University that is producing speciality carbohydrates through industrial biotechnology. www.inbiose.com
During his earlier career, Wim Soetaert has worked as a research director in Germany and France, for the sugar group Pfeifer & Langen and the wheat processing company Chamtor.



  1. High yield 1,3-propanediol production by rational engineering of the 3-hydroxypropionaldehyde bottleneck in Citrobacter werkmanii. Maervoet VE, De Maeseneire SL, Avci FG, Beauprez J, Soetaert WK, De Mey M. Microb Cell Fact. 2016 Jan 28;15(1):23. doi: 10.1186/s12934-016-0421-y.
  2. Towards the industrialization of new biosurfactants: Biotechnological opportunities for the lactone esterase gene from Starmerella bombicola. Roelants SL, Ciesielska K, De Maeseneire SL, Moens H, Everaert B, Verweire S, Denon Q, Vanlerberghe B, Van Bogaert IN, Van der Meeren P, Devreese B, Soetaert W. Biotechnol Bioeng. 2016 Mar;113(3):550-9. doi: 10.1002/bit.25815. Epub 2015 Sep 8.
  3. Characterization of sophorolipid biosynthetic enzymes from Starmerella bombicola. Saerens KM, Van Bogaert IN, Soetaert W. FEMS Yeast Res. 2015 Nov;15(7). pii: fov075. doi: 10.1093/femsyr/fov075. Epub 2015 Aug 21.
  4. UDP-hexose 4-epimerases: a view on structure, mechanism and substrate specificity. Beerens K, Soetaert W, Desmet T. Carbohydr Res. 2015 Sep 23;414:8-14. doi: 10.1016/j.carres.2015.06.006. Epub 2015 Jun 21. Review.
  5. Biotechnological advances in UDP-sugar based glycosylation of small molecules.
    De Bruyn F, Maertens J, Beauprez J, Soetaert W, De Mey M. Biotechnol Adv. 2015 Mar-Apr;33(2):288-302. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2015.02.005. Epub 2015 Feb 16. Review.
  6. Biotechnological opportunities in biosurfactant production. Geys R, Soetaert W, Van Bogaert I. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2014 Dec;30:66-72. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2014.06.002. Epub 2014 Jul 1. Review.
  7. Engineering the specificity of trehalose phosphorylase as a general strategy for the production of glycosyl phosphates. Chen C, Van der Borght J, De Vreese R, D'hooghe M, Soetaert W, Desmet T. Chem Commun (Camb). 2014 Jul 25;50(58):7834-6. doi: 10.1039/c4cc02202e.
  8. 1,3-propanediol production with Citrobacter werkmanii DSM17579: effect of a dhaD knock-out. Maervoet VE, De Maeseneire SL, Avci FG, Beauprez J, Soetaert WK, De Mey M. Microb Cell Fact. 2014 May 17;13:70. doi: 10.1186/1475-2859-13-70.
  9. pH-triggered formation of nanoribbons from yeast-derived glycolipid biosurfactants. Cuvier AS, Berton J, Stevens CV, Fadda GC, Babonneau F, Van Bogaert IN, Soetaert W, Pehau-Arnaudet G, Baccile N. Soft Matter. 2014 Jun 14;10(22):3950-9. doi: 10.1039/c4sm00111g. Epub 2014 Apr 14.
  10. The quest for a thermostable sucrose phosphorylase reveals sucrose 6'-phosphate phosphorylase as a novel specificity. Verhaeghe T, Aerts D, Diricks M, Soetaert W, Desmet T.  Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014 Aug;98(16):7027-37. doi: 10.1007/s00253-014-5621-y. Epub 2014 Mar 6.
  11. Biosurfactant gene clusters in eukaryotes: regulation and biotechnological potential. Roelants SL, De Maeseneire SL, Ciesielska K, Van Bogaert IN, Soetaert W. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014 Apr;98(8):3449-61. doi: 10.1007/s00253-014-5547-4. Epub 2014 Feb 15. Review.
  12. Improved saccharification and ethanol yield from field-grown transgenic poplar deficient in cinnamoyl-CoA reductase. Van Acker R, Leplé JC, Aerts D, Storme V, Goeminne G, Ivens B, Légée F, Lapierre C, Piens K, Van Montagu MC, Santoro N, Foster CE, Ralph J, Soetaert W, Pilate G, Boerjan W. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jan 14;111(2):845-50. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1321673111. Epub 2013 Dec 30.
  13. Unraveling the Leloir pathway of Bifidobacterium bifidum: significance of the uridylyltransferases. De Bruyn F, Beauprez J, Maertens J, Soetaert W, De Mey M. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2013 Nov;79(22):7028-35. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02460-13. Epub 2013 Sep 6.
  14. Chemoenzymatic synthesis of α-L-rhamnosides using recombinant α-L-rhamnosidase from Aspergillus terreus. De Winter K, Šimčíková D, Schalck B, Weignerová L, Pelantova H, Soetaert W, Desmet T, Křen V. Bioresour Technol. 2013 Nov;147:640-4. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2013.08.083. Epub 2013 Aug 23.
  15. Unraveling the dha cluster in Citrobacter werkmanii: comparative genomic analysis of bacterial 1,3-propanediol biosynthesis clusters. Maervoet VE, De Maeseneire SL, Soetaert WK, De Mey M. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng. 2014 Apr;37(4):711-8. doi: 10.1007/s00449-013-1041-0. Epub 2013 Sep 1.
  16. Preparation of 20-HETE using multifunctional enzyme type 2-negative Starmerella bombicola. Van Bogaert I, Zhang G, Yang J, Liu JY, Ye Y, Soetaert W, Hammock BD. J Lipid Res. 2013 Nov;54(11):3215-9. doi: 10.1194/jlr.D042226. Epub 2013 Aug 21.
  17. SILAC-based proteome analysis of Starmerella bombicola sophorolipid production. Ciesielska K, Li B, Groeneboer S, Van Bogaert I, Lin YC, Soetaert W, Van de Peer Y, Devreese B. J Proteome Res. 2013 Oct 4;12(10):4376-92. doi: 10.1021/pr400392a. Epub 2013 Sep 11.
  18. Towards a carbon-negative sustainable bio-based economy. Vanholme B, Desmet T, Ronsse F, Rabaey K, Van Breusegem F, De Mey M, Soetaert W, Boerjan W. Front Plant Sci. 2013 Jun 3;4:174. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2013.00174. eCollection 2013.
  19. Consensus engineering of sucrose phosphorylase: the outcome reflects the sequence input. Aerts D, Verhaeghe T, Joosten HJ, Vriend G, Soetaert W, Desmet T. Biotechnol Bioeng. 2013 Oct;110(10):2563-72. doi: 10.1002/bit.24940. Epub 2013 May 7.
  20. The biosynthetic gene cluster for sophorolipids: a biotechnological interesting biosurfactant produced by Starmerella bombicola. Van Bogaert IN, Holvoet K, Roelants SL, Li B, Lin YC, Van de Peer Y, Soetaert W. Mol Microbiol. 2013 May;88(3):501-9. doi: 10.1111/mmi.12200. Epub 2013 Mar 21.