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, Ingvar Camprad Foundation, Magnus Bergvall’s Foundation, NovoNordisk Foundation, 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. 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. Per-Olof is married and has two children.

Senior Researchers and postdocs

Ranjani Ganapathy


PhD, Post Doctoral Researcher

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

I am Ranjani Ganapathy from Tamil Nadu, India. I have done my Masters degree in Organic Chemistry at University of Madras, India and have completed my PhD in Organic Chemistry at University of Hyderabad, India in the year 2020. My PhD thesis mainly focused on the total synthesis of biologically active indole-based alkaloids using metal-catalysed/ metal-free cross-coupling/oxidative cross-coupling reactions. In March, 2021, I moved to Lund University, Sweden for a post doctoral research where I worked on the organocatalytic synthesis of bio-based BPA-free polycarbonates and isocyanate-free polyurethanes. In November, 2022, I have started my Post-doc in Prof. Per-Olof Syren’s group and I am currently working on the synthesis of monomers and polymers from bio-based resources via chemical/enzymatic synthesis and photocatalysis.




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.

Ximena Lopez Lorenzo



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 started my PhD in the Syrén group in January 2021 with the project in chemoenzymatic synthesis/recycling of plastics.

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.


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.

Luyao Zhao


PhD student

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.


My name is Luyao. I come from China and got my Master´s at Beijing Institute of Technology. During the master’s period, I had been engaged in the research of enzyme immobilization and metabolic production of organic compounds. In the fall of 2020 I joined Per-Olof’s lab in KTH as a PhD student. I will continue to explore enzymes and engage in the subject of CO2 fixation during the doctoral period.

Diploma students


Life is easy to identify, but remarkably hard to define. One fundamental property of living organisms is the order they create in their environment through evolved metabolic pathways, organized structures and self-replication which are basal energy-consuming processes dependent on enzymes that accelerate the chemistry of life up to 10^26-fold. Fundamental and organizational tasks, for instance energy conversion and information processing, would take millions – or even billions – of years in the absence of enzymes, thus representing timescales that would be incompatible with life.

The Syrén lab works with computer simulations and bioinformatics, as well as experimental biotechnology and protein engineering to enhance our fundamental understanding of enzymes, their mechanisms and evolution at the atomistic level. Towards reaching this goal we bridge fundamental chemical principles with state-of-the art biotechnology. Through transdisciplinary scientific methods we are developing novel enzyme engineering strategies for applications within biopolymer science and for the generation of superior biopharmaceuticals and fine chemicals from renewable sources.

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