Ursula Schell completed her PhD in Molecular Microbiology at the University of Stuttgart in 1998. She then focussed on engineering gene clusters for polyketide biosynthesis in streptomycetes which brought her to the UK in 2002, when she received a Marie-Curie fellowship with Biotica. Between 2004 and 2007 she worked as a postdoc on the EPSRC funded BICE programme at UCL in London, an interdisciplinary biocatalysis project targeting chiral aminodiol synthesis. She later led her team at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) developing microbial expression platforms and contributing to the process development of microbially derived drug candidates. In 2012, Ursula joined Johnson Matthey’s Catalysis team as their first biologist. She was significantly involved in establishing Biocatalysis at the Cambridge site and supervised both enzyme development and bioproduction projects.