Isabel Arends is heading the department of Biotechnology, covering the wide area of industrial biotechnology as well as environmental biotechnology at the Technical University Delft, the Netherlands. She holds a chair in biocatalysis, where she focuses on the development of enzymes as biocatalysts. Specifically she studies oxidation and hydrating enzymes, that can have a large impact on atom efficiency. She teaches Green Chemistry to BSc and MSc students for over 15 years.
Isabel Arends received her PhD in physical organic chemistry in 1993 from the University of Leiden, the Netherlands. Postdoctoral work followed with Keith Ingold at the National Research Council in Canada on liquid phase oxidations catalyzed by biomimetic iron complexes. She joined the group of Roger Sheldon at the Delft University of Technology in 1995, and in 1996 she was awarded a research fellowship of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in the field of biomimetic oxidations. She joined the faculty of the Department of Biotechnology in 2001 and in 2007 she took up the position of full professor in biocatalysis. She has supervised over 20 PhDs and authored over 150 publications. In addition, Isabel Arends is one of the flagship managers in BE-Basic, a large research consortium dedicated to the utilization of second generation biomass, and serves on the board of the national funding agency for applied research in the Netherlands.