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Lauren McKee

Profile picture of Lauren McKee

Docent, Researcher




Researcher ID

About me

Check out our group webpage:! There you'll find details on current group members, project information, and regular news updates on our activities!


I hold the position of Docent in Biotechnology and Researcher (Forskare) at KTH Division of Glycoscience. I am principal investigator for the Stockholm CAZyme group! And, since January 2023, I am a vice-director for the Wallenberg Wood Science Centre PhD Academy.

I advised Stockholm's 2018 gold medal-winning iGEM team, who won Best Environment Project and Best Integrated Human Practices. I tweet sometimes about science, academia, and books. I have written popular science articles about everything from environmental protection to medical biotechnology. I have learned how to commercialise some of my research with help from a mentor scheme you can read about at this link. And together with my colleague Amparo Jimenez Quero I took part in the KTH Innovation Pre-Incubator programme - click here to read a short article about that initiative!


My research is supported by the Swedish Research Council Vetenskapsrådet (VR), the Swedish Research Council for Sustainability Formas, the Swedish Energy Agency Energimyndigheten (EM), the Wallenberg Wood Science Centre (WWSC), and Carl Tryggers Stiftelsen. You can read details on all of my group's research funding at this link.

My research relates to many aspects of sustainable development, including food security, environmental protection, natural resource use, and sustainable forestry and agriculture. My major area of interest is enzyme discovery in the context of microbial degradation of complex biopolymers in natural and industrial settings, with implications for the bioenergy, biomaterials, and biocontrol sectors. You can read about all of my group's current research themes at this link.

I am proud that some recent projects have been formally recognised for their sustainable impact. Our hydrogels research was highlighted on the IVA Top 100 List for 2022, which had the theme of recognising "research in the service of humanity." You can read about this work in a blog I wrote and in an earlier article in the publication Tidningen Extrakt (in Swedish). You can also check this article for info on a WWSC project I supervised, which was recognised on the IVA Top 100 List for 2021, and is now being commercialised by the startup company Reselo AB, co-founded by my former postdoc Thomas Baumgarten.

Key publications:

Polysaccharide degradation by the Bacteroidetes — mechanisms and nomenclature. Environmental Microbiology Reports (2021)

Exploring the potential for fungal antagonism and cell wall attack by Bacillus subtilis natto. Frontiers in Microbiology (2020)

Focussed metabolism of β-glucans by the soil Bacteroidetes Chitinophaga pinensis. Applied and Environmental Microbiology (2019)

The impact of steroidal glycoalkaloids on the physiology of Phytophthora infestans, the causative agent of potato late blight. Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions (2017)

A discrete genetic locus confers xyloglucan metabolism in select human gut Bacteroidetes. Nature (2014)

Introducing endo-xylanase activity into an exo-acting arabinofuranosidase that targets side chains. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (2012)

Current group members:

  • Mengshu Hao - post-doctoral scientist, since September 2020.
  • He Li - post-doctoral scientist, since April 2021.
  • Ioanna Sapouna - PhD student, main supervisor since April 2021.
  • Theresa Schaufler - Erasmus Master's thesis student, since October 2022.
  • Rasmus Gustafsson - spring 2023. Co-supervised by He Li.
  • Ida Ristola - spring 2023. Co-supervised by He Li and Mengshu Hao.
  • Felise Elemia Freire - spring 2023.


  • Lova Sandin - research intern, summer 2022. Master's thesis student, spring 2022. Co-supervised by He Li.
  • Vasiliki Makrygianni - research intern, summer 2022. Master's thesis student, spring 2022. Co-supervised by He Li.
  • Alma Kvammen - research engineer, October 2021 - August 2022.
  • Yi-Hsuan Lee - research intern, summer 2021. Master's thesis student, spring 2021.
  • Elin Wedin Kvick - research intern, summer 2021.
  • Srijani Saha - research intern, summer 2021.
  • Zijia Lu - research intern, summer 2019. Master's thesis student, September 2019 - February 2021.
  • Hugo Hammar - research intern, summer 2020.
  • Helena Andersson - research intern, summer 2020.
  • Thomas Baumgarten - post-doctoral scholar, October 2018 - August 2020.
  • Rahele Panahabadi - visiting PhD student from Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran. October 2019 - July 2020.
  • Katharine King - research intern, summer 2019.
  • Anna Schönbichler - research intern, summer 2019. Master's thesis student, spring 2019.

Master's thesis students supervised:

Co-supervised PhD students:

  • Carl Rämgård, KTH Glycoscience. Main supervisor Assoc Prof Francisco Vilaplana.
  • Zsuzsanna Péter-Szabó, KTH Glycoscience. Main supervisor Assoc Prof Francisco Vilaplana.
  • Andrea Seveso, Chalmers Industrial Biotechnology. Main supervisor Assoc Prof Johan Larsbrink.
  • Tove Widén, Chalmers Industrial Biotechnology. Main supervisor Assoc Prof Johan Larsbrink.
  • Salla Koskela, KTH Glycoscience. Main supervisor Prof Qi Zhou.Graduated June 2022.
  • Stefan Klinter, KTH Glycoscience. Main supervisor Prof Vincent Bulone. Graduated January 2021.
  • Paul Dahlin, KTH Glycoscience/Stockholm University DEEP. Main supervisor Prof Vincent Bulone. Graduated January 2017.


I teach Master's and Doctoral students about industrial and environmental microbiology and biotechnology, focussing on skills development, sustainability, and systems thinking. Much of my teaching relates to glycoscience - what are the roles of complex carbohydrates in human health, the natural environment, plant pathogenesis, and sustainable fuel/materials production?


Advanced Microbiology and Metagenomics (BB2560), course responsible, teacher | Course web

Environmental Bioprocess Technology (CB2100), teacher | Course web

Environmental Toxicology (BB2015), teacher | Course web

Glycobiotechnology (BB2425), teacher | Course web

System Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment (BB2570), teacher | Course web

The Cell Factory (BB2450), teacher | Course web