Welcome to the Sustainable & Synthetic Biology (SSB) group, led by Kyle Lauersen, in the Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) Division of KAUST.Read more
20 May, 2023Special issue: Algal Research
Call for papers on the topic "Metabolic engineering/synthetic biology of eukaryotic microalgae for better light-driven biosynthesis and production" in the journal Algal Research.
17 May, 2023Editorial appointment: Planta
Prof. Lauersen was appointed to the Editorial Board of the journal Planta, where he will handle manuscripts relating to algal biotechnology.
15 May, 2023Event: BESE Distinguished Lecture
The SSB Lab hosted BESE Dean’s Distinguished Lecture entitled "From genetics parts to synthetic genomes" by Prof. Patrick Yizhi Cai from the University of Manchester.
09 May, 2023MSc defence: Amna Abdulshakoor Abdullah
Amna Abdulshakoor Abdullah, Master student in the SSB Lab, successfully defended her Bioengineering MSc thesis entitled "Heterologous expression of two ice binding proteins fro the chloroplast genome of a high-density cultivation enabled Chlamydomonas reinhardtii strain".
08 May, 2023MSc defence: Fatimah Abualsaud
SSB Lab student Fatimah Abualsaud successfully defended today her Bioengineering MSc thesis entitled "Engineering volatile isoprene production from the polyextremophilic red microalga Cyanidioschyzon merolae".
22 April, 2023News article: Tiny algae have huge potential for Saudi Arabia’a bioeconomy
A bioprospecting project led by Prof. Lauersen that involves testing the potential of microalgae native to the central Red Sea region for biotechnology applications, is featured in the KAUST INSIGHT magazine.
21 April, 2023Invited talk for Institute for Genomics for Crop Abiotic Stress Tolerance at Texas Tech University
Professor Lauersen gave a Zoom seminar for the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at the Institute for Genomics for Crop Abiotic Stress Tolerance at Texas Tech University.
18 April, 2023Invited Talk at Carnegie Institution for Science
Prof. Kyle Lauersen gave an invited talk at Stanford's Carnegie Institution for Science, following an invitation from Dr. Adrien Burlacot.
13 April, 2023Invited talk at Apeel Sciences
Prof. Kyle Lauersen was honored to be invited to give a talk at Apeel Sciences in Santa Barbara (California) today. Apeel is a food biotech company that developed a method to prolongue the shelf life of fruits and vegetables by applying a "second peel" composed entirely of purified monoglycerides and diglycerides.
16 March, 2023Event: Dual BioE Seminar
The SSB lab visitors Dr. Jeffrey Moseley and Prof. Peter Lammers both gave a BioE seminar talk this week. Jeffrey discussed his academic journey in his talk entitled "There and Back Again: Algae Biology and Biotechnology in Industry and Academia", while Peter presented his work on extemophilic microalgae in his seminar "Metabolic engineering with Microalgae: exploiting the versatility of polyextremophiles".
14 March, 2023SSB Lab visitors: Dr. Jeffrey Moseley, Dr. Mark Seger, Prof. Peter Lammers
This week, the SSB group welcomed three academic collaborators to KAUST, including Dr. Jeffrey Moseley from UC Berkeley, and Dr. Mark Seger and Prof. Peter Lammers from the Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation at Arizona State University.
02 March, 2023KAUST Research Open Week 2023
SSB Lab research was presented by MSc students Fatimah Abdualsaud and Amna Abdullah, and by visiting highschool student Yazan Alflayyeh at the KAUST Research Open Week (KROW) poster session.
21 February, 2023Engineering Biology Research Consortium: Global Forum 2.0
Prof Kyle Lauersen participated in the second EBRC Global Forum for Engineering Biology: Review of Synthetic Biology/Bioeconomy National Strategies (EBRC Global Forum 2.0), which was held on 20/21 February 2023 in Singapore in partnership with the Singapore Consortium for Synthetic Biology (SINERGY).
15 January, 2023Podcast: Tiny Living Beings - Genetic engineering of algae
Professor Kyle Lauersen joins Julia Van Etten for her podcast series Tiny Living Beings in an episode entitled "Genetic engineering of algae".
05 December, 2022International Workshop on Algae Culture and Innovation
Prof Kyle Lauersen joined other experts in the field of algae culture for an international workshop co-organized by FAO, UN and DAB-MEWA to discuss the future of algae-based aquaculture and innovation.
01 December, 2022News article: SSB Lab publication showcased in KAUST Discovery
A recent research article of SSB group member Dr Sebastian Overmans and Professor Kyle Lauersen that was published in Green Chemistry is showcased in the KAUST Discovery magazine.
29 November, 2022Visiting student: Yazan Alflayyeh
High school student and MEWA intern Yazan Alflayyeh visited the SSB lab for a research stay to conduct analytical laboratory work in collaboration with Sergio Gutierrez and Dr Sebastian Overmans.
17 November, 2022BESE Dean's award for SSB students
SSB Lab PhD students Malak Abdallah, Razan Yahya, and Sergio Gutierrrez were selected as recipients of the 2022 BESE Dean's award.
30 October, 2022SSB Lab visitor: Prof. Olaf Kruse
Professor Olaf Kruse from Bielefeld University, Kyle's former PhD supervisor, visited the SSB Lab and gave a seminar entitled: "Bioengineering microalgae for their application as green cell factories".
18 October, 2022Event: Saudi Agriculture Business Forum
Professor Kyle Lauersen attended this year's Saudi Agriculture Business Forum to hear about current agriculture projects in KSA connect with researchers and stakeholders in this field.
04 October, 2022SSB Lab visitor: Professor Claudia Vickers
Professor Claudia Vickers visited the SSB Lab and gave a Bioengineering Seminar entitled: "Eden Brew and synthetic biology for metabolic engineering in microbial organisms".
28 September, 2022Springer Nature Webinar
Professor Kyle Lauersen was an invited guest speaker at a Springer Nature webinar entitled "Chlamydomonas: Unlocking Discoveries in Sustainable Biotechnology.
26 September, 2022Sciencetown Podcast: Algae - a metabolic treasure trove
Episode 22 of KAUST's Sciencetown podcast features algal experts Claudio Grünewald and Kyle Lauersen in conversation about their projects.
14 June, 2022News article: Creating an Algal Innovation Bloom
The innovative microalgae-based research projects led by Professor Kyle Lauersen are featured in an article in the "KAUST Insight" magazine.
13 June, 2022SSB Lab Visitor: Prof. Paul Freemont
Professor Paul Freemont from Imperial College London visited the SSB Lab from 11-13 June, and gave a distinguished lecture to the BESE Division entitled "Enabling the Transition to a Global Bioeconomy with Synthetic Biology - Opportunities and Challenges".
26 April, 2022News article: The future of algae – a treasure trove of green for the Kingdom
KAUST's microalgae bioprospecting research projects led by Professor Kyle Lauersen and Dr Claudio Grünewald are featured in a KAUST News article.
03 June, 2022SSB Lab Visitors: Prof. Stephen Rader and Dr. Martha Stark
Professor Stephen Rader and Dr Martha Stark from the University of Northern British Columbia visited KAUST for a 2-week research stay at the SSB Lab. As experts in the field of the extremophile red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae, they shared their knowledge about the species's cultivation and transformation methods. Professor Stephen Rader also gave an invited BioEngineering Seminar entitled: "What have introns done for you lately? Investigations of the function and evolution of introns in a new model system, the red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae"
31 March, 2022MSc defences: Salma and Manar
SSB Lab students Salma AlKaff and Manar Shlbi successfully defended today their Bioengineering MSc theses entitled "A comparison of solvents for their suitability as solvent-culture two phase systems for living extraction of microbial isoprenoids using the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as a model organism" (Salma) and "Investigation of heterologous expression of the non-ribosomal peptide blue pigment synthase and its activator from the nuclear genome of the model microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii" (Manar). We wish them both all the best in their future endeavors.
30 November, 2021KAUST Research Open Week
The SSB Lab was represented with a booth at this year's Research Open Week. Here, and during the poster session, members of the group showcased their latest microalgae research.
09 June, 2021SSB Lab Official Opening Ceremony
The Sustainable & Synthetic Biotechnology Lab was officially inaugurated today by KAUST President Tony Chan, Deans Pierre Magistretti and Samir Hamdan, and Professor David Keyes. After the official ceremony, several invited guests got a chance to join a guided tour of the state-of-the-art lab facilities.
09 January, 2020SSB Lab Visitor: Dr. Jonas Frohwitter
Dr. Jonas Frohwitter is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Biberach University of Applied Science. He visited KAUST after being invited by the SSB lab as a speaker to deliver a talk titled "From Purple Bacteria to cell-free enzymatic systems: Industrial biotech in Biberach."
02 December, 2020SSB participation at CCI
The SSB group was proud to be represented by Dr. Kyle Lauersen, Dr. Gordon Wellman and Lab Manager John Girgis at the Circular Carbon Initiative launch event. They presented 9 of the algal species that are currently being studied in the laboratory, and displayed a bioreactor prototype capable of cultivating high-value algal strains at high densities.
Dr. Kyle Lauersen was also invited to be one of the CCI on-screen presenters, with the video attached below.
21 October, 2019Talk at Macquarie University in Sydney
Prof. Lauersen gave a talk at Macquarie University in Sydney Australia hosted by Prof. Ian Paulsen and Dr. Briardo Llorente. The talk was titled "Transforming Algae into a Sustainable Production Platform."
17 October, 2019Talk at the IMB in Brisbane
Prof. Lauersen gave a visiting lecture at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at University of Queensland, Brisbane, hosted by Prof. Ben Hankamer. His lecture was titled "Transforming Algae into a Sustainable Production Platform," and was focused on explaining the potential Algae hold as a biotechnology platform.
23 October, 2019SSB Lab Visitor: Liliana Calzadiaz Ramirez
Liliana Calzadiaz Ramirez is a PhD Candidate at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology. Liliana currently studies enzyme engineering, and visited KAUST after being invited by the SSB lab as a speaker to deliver a talk titled "Testing, Screening and Evolving NADPH-regenerating enzymes with an E. coli NADPH-sensor strain."
11 October, 2019SynCTI Meeting in Singapore
Prof. Lauersen today had the chance to deliver a talk at a conference in Singapore on the topic of "Future Trends in Synthetic Biology: Asian Perspectives." His talk was titled "Transforming Algae into a Sustainable Production Platform," and represented the Saudi Arabian and Persian Gulf potential for joining the Synthetic Biology revolution.
16 February, 2020SSB Lab Visitor: Dr. Julian Wichmann
Dr. Julian Wichmann is a Post-Doctoral Fellow, and was Prof. Lauersen's previous PhD student, at Bielefeld University. He visited KAUST after being invited by the SSB lab as a speaker to deliver a talk titled "Development of high-throughput process to optimise microbes for biofertilizer applications."Learning by building: Engineering light-driven green cell factories for the sustainable production of hydrocarbon chemicals enables understanding of metabolic architectures in eukaryotic algae".
01 March, 2020SSB Lab Visitor: Zeenat Rupawalla
Zeenat Rupawalla is a PhD Candidate in Professor Ben Hankamer's group in Australia. She and Prof. Lauersen met when they were working with Dr. Hankamer at the same time. Zeenat visited KAUST after being invited by the SSB lab as a speaker to deliver a talk titled "Development of high-throughput process to optimise microbes for biofertilizer applications."
13 October, 2019SSB visits #SBA2019
In October, Prof. Lauersen had a chance to visit Dr. Claudia Vickers's team from Australia in Singapore, and then visited Australia directly, to learn more about the future of Synthetic Biology.
29 October, 2019Algae talk at RSRC Open Science conference
Prof. Lauersen had the absolute privilege of delivering The Red Sea Research Center's Open Science Conference Keynote Lecture, titled "Keynote Lecture: Exploring the potential of algae as a sustainable biotechnological production platform" today!
29 November, 2019Talk at NEOM
Today, Prof. Lauersen had an opportunity to speak at NEOM to help the planners and organizers imagine a biology-inclusive design with his talk titled "Sustainability, Synethic Biology, and Applied Biotechnology: A Vision for NEOM." Only good things can come from collaborations between people working towards a progressive and wild future.
15 January, 2020Talk at NYUAD
Prof. Lauersen recently had the pleasure of speaking to a select few Post-Doctoral Fellows at NYUAD about his career trajectory and making the next jump in their academic careers. The food was plenty!
21 January, 2020Algae talk at CBRC Research Conference
Prof. Lauersen had the absolute privilege of speaking about Algal medical applications, including wound healing and improving food quality, at the CBRC Digital Wellbeing conference today.
27 October, 2019SSB Lab Visitor: Dr. Dennis Dienst
Dr. Dennis Dienst received his PhD from Humboldt University of Berlin, and is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Uppsula University studying high density cultivation methods for microalgae. Dennis visited KAUST after being invited by the SSB lab as a speaker to deliver a talk titled "Towards improved microbial chassis for the photosynthetic production of terpenoids."
02 December, 2019SSB Lab Visitor: Dr. Boas Pucker
Dr. Boas Pucker just completed his PhD from Bielefeld University. He visited KAUST after being invited by the SSB lab as a speaker to deliver a talk titled "Computational approaches to study plant genomics and evolution."
19 February, 2020Panel Talk at Sci-Café
Prof. Lauersen had the absolute privilege of speaking on a panel along with Prof. Mani Sarathy and Dr. Thomas Finkbeiner. The panel was part of KAUST's Sci-Café initiative and the topic was 'Circular Carbon Economy.'
16 September, 2019Interview with EUSynBioS
On the latest “Young PIs” interview series, Konstantinos Vavitsas from EUSynBioS interviewed Prof. Lauersen based on his recent appointment as an Assistant Professor. Even though Konstantinos and Prof. Lauersen have published a paper together, it was their first chance to discuss science, algae, and the future at large together.