Joy Birkelbach studied pharmacy at the University of Greifswald. In her diploma thesis, Joy investigated the secondary metabolism of a shipworm symbiont, developed cultivation strategies and RT-qPCR protocols at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, University of Greifswald. In 2018, she obtained her diploma degree as well as her license to practice pharmacy.
Since March 2019, Joy is working as a PhD student at HIPS. She cultivates Myxobacteria triggering secondary metabolite production, aiming to discover new bioactive natural products. To identify new secondary metabolites, she uses comprehensive statistical analysis like MetaboScape. Thus, she isolates and purifies those using various chromatographic methods like flash chromatography and HPLC. In order to characterise chemical, physical and structural properties she uses spectrometric as well as spectroscopic methods, like MS2 and CD spectra and NMR.