My research group works with both state of the art computer simulations and experimental protein engineering to understand life at the atomistic level. Enzymes are natural biocatalysts that are essential for the living cell. This is perhaps well illustrated by the fact that fundamental and organizational tasks, for instance energy generation and information processing, would take millions - or even billion - of years in the absence of biocatalysts, which represent timescales that would be incompatible with life.
Enzyme catalysis evolved in an aqueous environment and water constitutes a cornerstone for the chemistry of life. Our research aims for an enhanced understanding of the impact of solvent dynamics on enzyme catalysis and motion which is currently poorly understood and usually neglected.Towards reaching this goal we bridge fundamental chemical principles with biotechnology. Through transdisciplinary scientific methods we are developing novel enzyme engineering strategies for applications within biopolymer science and for the sustainable generation of fine chemicals from renewable sources.
Movie on our methodologies:
Per-Olof Syrén - Brief biography
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 KTH/Science for Life Laboratory in Stockholm. His research is also funded by SSF – The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research after being evaluated to have a great potential for our society. In 2016 he received a FORMAS-grant for the project “AWESOM” centered on the generation of novel and sustainable biomaterials from renewable sources using enzyme discovery and enzyme design technologies. 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. The results were considered to be of so high potential that 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.