Current group members

Per-Olof Syrén


Associate Professor in Chemistry for Life Sciences

Docent in Biotechnology

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Per-Olof Syrén obtained his PhD in Biotechnology in 2011 from KTH. After a postdoctoral stay as an Alexander von Humboldt-fellow at the University of Stuttgart, Germany between 2011-2013 he came back to Sweden to build his own research group. Supported by a Swedish Research Council (VR) Young Investor grant (less than 5% success rate), and committed to his passion to understand fundamental biochemistry, he has built his own small and independent research group from scratch at Science for Life Laboratory in Stockholm. His research is funded by the Gunnar Sundblad Research Foundation, FORMAS, VINNOVA, KVA, ÅForsk, SLF, VR and SSF – The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research after being evaluated to have a great potential for our society. His research benefits from generous support from industry, including the Swedish forest company Holmen and the US-based biotech company ATUM. His projects have attracted private grants from both Sweden (Royal Academy of Sciences, Wennergren Foundation) and Germany and have won several awards, including an internationally prestigious Alexander von Humboldt award and a Gordon conference research award. He was nominated to represent the Alexander von Humboldt foundation at the Nobel Laureate meeting in Chemistry 2013 in competition with thousands of other young scientists globally. In 2019 he was awarded the the Gunnar Sundblad Research Foundation’s prestigious Skills Development Prize. The prize was awarded by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

Senior Researchers and postdocs

Boyang Guo


PhD, Postdoctoral researcher

SciLifeLab and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Hi! My name is Boyang (or you can just call me Sissi!), I was born in China, but I have spent the last ten years studying and working in Japan. I finished my Master’s and Ph.D. in Shinshu University and during that time, my work was focused on targeting and engineering a beta-glucosidase from Trichoderma reesei for disaccharide synthesis via transglycosylation reaction.

In 2016, I moved to the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science as a postdoctoral researcher fellow in the Bioplastic Research Team and performed chemical library screening looking for potential monomers that can be polymerized by laccases. In 2018, I transferred to the Biomacromolecules Research Group and developed a novel method of DNA/protein delivery for genetic modification in rice.

From 2019, I moved to Sweden, joining Per-Olof´s group, and I am now working on a project relevant to bio-based plastic degradation.​

Heba Asem


PhD, Postdoctoral researcher

SciLifeLab, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

My name is Heba Asem. I am from Egypt, where I have finished my master at University of Alexandria in materials science. Then I moved to Sweden to work as guest researcher at Karolinska Institutet in biodegradable nano-theranostic for leukemia treatment. In 2016, I finished licentiate degree at the division of functional materials at KTH where I developed organic and inorganic nanoparticles for Bioimaging and cancer therapy. In 2020, I graduated my PhD from the department of fiber and polymer technology. My work was focused on synthesis and development of functional polymeric nanoparticles for biomedical applications more specific targeted drug delivery. From June 2020 I started a postdoc researcher position in Per-Olof´s group, focusing mainly on synthesis of advanced bio-based renewable materials.


Natalie Hendrikse


PhD student

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB, Stockholm, Sweden

My name is Natalie, I come from The Netherlands and I finished my master’s in Medical Engineering at KTH here in Stockholm in June 2016. I am now an industrial PhD student working at the KTH School of Chemical Science and Engineering as well as Sobi, a Swedish biopharmaceutical company specialized in orphan diseases. Both are situated at SciLifeLab in Solna. My project is about designing and engineering enzymes for therapeutic applications, such as treatment of certain rare genetic diseases. Recently, I started working with bioinformatics and especially phylogenetics and ancestral sequence reconstruction of enzymes.

David Hueting


PhD student

SciLifeLab and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Hi! my name is David. I am from the Netherlands, where I have finished my Masters at the Technical University of Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam in Nanobiology.
During my studies I worked on a variety of projects ranging from growing synthetic cells to the molecular mechanism behind CRISPR/Cas. During these projects I grew a great interest in the correlation between protein structure and function. In October 2019 I started my PhD on protein engineering in the Syrén lab and the lab of prof. Hjalmar Brismar. I am working on  engineering of enzymes and the effects that changes in structure have on enzyme activity and dynamics in the cell.

Karen Schriever


PhD student

SciLifeLab and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Hej! My name is Karen – I come from Germany and finished my Master of Biochemistry at the University of Heidelberg in summer 2018. During my Master degree, I have worked with different types of proteins and protein engineering methods. I started my PhD in the Protein Engineering of Enzymes group in October 2018. In my project I will focus on enzyme engineering and biocatalytic pathways at the interface to metabolic engineering.

Arne Stamm


PhD student

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

Hej! My name is Arne, I am from Germany and I did my master’s in Nanoscience at the University of Hamburg. I started my PhD in March 2017 at the School of Chemical Science and Engineering at KTH in Stockholm. I am working on the polymerization of biopolymers using molecular building blocks from renewable sources, mainly focussing on monomers containing cycling subunits.

Elisabeth Söderberg

Elisabeth S

PhD student

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

Hello! My name is Elisabeth and I am from Sweden. In the summer of 2020, I finished my Master of Science in Molecular Biotechnology Engineering at Uppsala University. During my master’s, I found the potential of synthetic biology and enzymes to replace classic chemistry as a greener option very interesting. Autumn of 2020, I started my Ph.D. in wood-based biocatalysis with a polymer focus. In my project, I will develop methods for biocatalytic generation of complex molecular building blocks from renewable resources for the incorporation into biopolymers.

Diploma students

Johannes Carlsson


MSc student

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

Working on polymerization of renewable building blocks and generation of biopolymers with tunable properties.

Martina Ravizza


MSc student

SciLifeLab and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

“Hi! My name is Martina and I come from Torino, in Italy. I completed my bachelor in chemical and food engineering in 2018 at Politecnico di Torino, where I also started my double degree master in chemical engineering of sustainable​ processes. I came to Sweden in summer 2019 and I attended the second year of master at KTH. I joined Per-Olof’s group to write my final project, which will regard bioplastics recycling using enzymes”.

Ximena Lopez Lorenzo


Project worker

SciLifeLab and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

Hi! My name is Ximena. I am originally from Mexico where I got my Bachelor’s in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Universidad de las Américas Puebla. I moved to Sweden two years ago to obtain a Masters in Medical Biotechnology from KTH Royal Institute of Technology. I have previously worked with cancer biology, immunology, and microbiology. I joined the Syrén lab during the summer to work in a project focused on enzyme engineering at the interface of metabolic engineering.


Former group members

Patricia Saenz-Mendez

Researcher, computational protein design.

Caroline Mosbech

Postdoctoral researcher, biocatalytic upcycling of terpenes.

Philip Josephson

Diploma student, fundamental terpene biochemistries.

Wissam Farhat

Postdoctoral researcher, polymer chemistry.

Antonino Biundo

Postdoctoral researcher, biocatalytic upgrading of terpenes.

Laiqing Xu

Project worker, synthetic biology.

Sara Ericsson

Project worker, enzyme engineering of plastic degrading enzymes.

Liliya Vasilevich

Project worker, biopolymers.

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

Johan Granath

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

Bachelor student, fundamental terpene biochemistries (2019).

Oscar Skirfors

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

Project worker, microbiology and protein engineering (2018).

Hailey Sounart


Project worker, synthetic biology (2018).

Maxime Robert-Monpate

ESCOM – Superior School of Organic and Mineral Chemistry in Compiègne, France.

Project worker, synthetic chemistry and biology (2018).

Maryam Mousa

Stockholm University, Sweden.

Project on monomeric building blocks from renewable sources for further polymerization (2018).

Gwenaëlle Charpentier

ESCOM – Superior School of Organic and Mineral Chemistry in Compiègne, France.

Project on ancestral terpene cyclases (2017).

Adam Eriksson

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

Project on fundamental terpene biochemistries (2017).

Lauren Lyne

Karolinska Institute, Solna, Sweden.

Project on characterization of ancestral terpene cyclases (2017).

Martin Toul

Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.

ERASMUS student. Project on biocatalysis and mechanisms of enzyme catalysis (2016).