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, Ingvar Camprad Foundation, Magnus Bergvall’s Foundation, 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.​


Nasim Najjarzadeh

nasim najjarzadeh-2181

PhD, Postdoctoral researcher

SciLifeLab and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

My name is Nasim and I am coming from Iran where I finished my bachelor’s and master’s degree in microbiology and microbial biotechnology, respectively. I moved to Sweden to start my new job as a Ph.D. student in biochemical process engineering at Luleå University of Technology. The aim of my project was to design the first example of a well-controlled sonobioreactor to study the influence of different sound parameters on the metabolic pathway of microorganisms (fungi), with a special focus on production of plant biomass degrading enzymes.

In August 2021, I joined to Per-Olof’s lab as a postdoctoral researcher in wood-based system biocatalysis, and I am going to focus on the generation of biopolymers by enzymatic cascades.


Sudarsan Reddy Vanga


PhD, Postdoctoral researcher

SciLifeLab, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden


My name is Sudarsan and I came from India to pursue my master’s education in Sweden. I am a Biology degree graduate with a specialization in structural biology and biophysics, which I have obtained from Uppsala University. My master thesis work was focused on the metal ion parameterization of a computationally designed enzyme interface. Later, I have continued working as a research assistant and gained valuable research experience in projects related to enzyme evolution, mechanism and promiscuity. I have worked extensively with enzyme dynamics using molecular dynamics simulations.

I hold a PhD in computational biology from Uppsala University. My thesis work was focused on computational models and free energy calculations related to ligand binding to insulin-regulated aminopeptidase (IRAP).  During this time I was engaged in a collaborative program aimed at identifying inhibitors of IRAP as a potential new class of cognitive enhancers.

In November 2020 I joined Per-Olof’s lab in KTH as a postdoctoral researcher. Currently I am working on computational (re-) designing and engineering of enzymes from ancestral sequences, with focus on industrial applications.

After proteins and science, my interests are in travelling, hiking and motorcycles. Thank you for visiting my profile, should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!



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

Filippo Tuti


MSc. Student

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

Hi! My name is Filippo, I come from Italy, where I started my university career. In June 2019 I got my bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology at Università Degli Studi di Udine, with a thesis on the influence of cell source and method of isolation of extracellular vesicles on their oncosuppressive functionality. From my bachelor’s I received a good background in cellular and bacteria cultivation. I joined the Syrén group in January 2022 as a lab assistant and I am working on a project on enzymatic plastic degradation.


Former group members

Arne Stamm

PhD-student, valorization of pinenes into new polyesters.

Alma Kvammen

MSc-student, project worker.

Kafi Md

MSc-student, biopolymers.

Heba Asem

Postdoctoral researcher, biopolymers.

Johannes Carlsson

MSc student, biopolymers.

Martina Ravizza

MSc student, biopolymers.

Natalie Hendrikse


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).

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