Kyle J. Lauersen

Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor


Ibn Al Haytham Building 2 - Office 4275


Dr. Kyle J. Lauersen is an Assistant Professor and principal investigator of the SSB group at KAUST. Kyle is from Kingston, Ontario Canada where he did his undergraduate, masters and teaching degrees at Queen’s University. Kyle was awarded a full scholarship by the CLIB Graduate Cluster to conduct his Doctorate (Dr. rer. Nat.) at the Center for Biotechnology as part of the Faculty of Biology at Bielefeld University, Germany. Kyle’s previous role was as a Postdoctoral research fellow in the Algae Biotechnology and Bioenergy research group of Prof. Dr. Olaf Kruse at Bielefeld University as part of the EU Horizon 2020 funded project Photofuel ( Kyle joined the faculty of KAUST as a professor in August 2019 in order to work towards the translation of synthetic biology and biotechnology with a focus on microalgal technologies into sustainable biotechnological processes. 

Research Interests

Focus on green biotechnology with the main research theme of engineering algae to be green cell factories. Kyle is interested in promoting biotechnology applications that endeavor to be sustainable in scope, whether converting waste carbon streams like CO2 into products through algae, solar energy conversion into biomass, or the use of alternative carbon substrates as feedstocks for bio-processes. 

Selected Publications

Perozeni, F., Cazzaniga, S., Baier, T., Zanoni, F., Zoccatelli, G., Lauersen, K.J., Wobbe, L., Ballottari, M., 2020. Turning a green alga red: engineering astaxanthin biosynthesis by intragenic pseudogene revival in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Plant Biotechnol. J. pbi.13364.

Wichmann, J., Lauersen, K.J., Kruse, O., 2020. Green algal hydrocarbon metabolism is an exceptional source of sustainable chemicals. Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 61, 28–37.

Jaeger, D., Baier, T., Lauersen, K.J., 2019. Intronserter, an advanced online tool for design of intron containing transgenes. Algal Res. 42, 101588.

Durante, L., Hübner, W., Lauersen, K.J., Remacle, C., 2019. Characterization of the GPR1/FUN34/YaaH protein family in the green microalga Chlamydomonas suggests their role as intracellular membrane acetate channels. Plant Direct 3, e00148.

Lauersen, K.J., 2019. Eukaryotic microalgae as hosts for light-driven heterologous isoprenoid production. Planta 249, 155–180.

Perozeni, F., Cazzaniga, S., Baier, T., Zanoni, F., Zoccatelli, G., Lauersen, K.J., Wobbe, L., Ballottari, M., 2019. Turning a green alga red: engineering astaxanthin biosynthesis by intragenic pseudogene revival in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. bioRxiv 535989.

Baier, T., Kros, D., Feiner, R.C., Lauersen, K.J., Müller, K.M., Kruse, O., 2018a. Engineered Fusion Proteins for Efficient Protein Secretion and Purification of a Human Growth Factor from the Green Microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. ACS Synth. Biol. 7, 2547–2557.

Yunus, I.S., Wichmann, J., Wördenweber, R., Lauersen, K.J., Kruse, O., Jones, P.R., 2018. Synthetic metabolic pathways for photobiological conversion of CO2 into hydrocarbon fuel. Metab. Eng. 49, 201–211.

Lauersen, K.J., Wichmann, J., Baier, T., Kampranis, S.C., Pateraki, I., Møller, B.L., Kruse, O., 2018. Phototrophic production of heterologous diterpenoids and a hydroxy-functionalized derivative from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Metab. Eng. 49, 116–127.

Crozet, P., Navarro, F.J., Willmund, F., Mehrshahi, P., Bakowski, K., Lauersen, K.J., Pérez-Pérez, M.-E., Auroy, P., Gorchs Rovira, A., Sauret-Gueto, S., Niemeyer, J., Spaniol, B., Theis, J., Trösch, R., Westrich, L.-D., Vavitsas, K., Baier, T., Hübner, W., de Carpentier, F., Cassarini, M., Danon, A., Henri, J., Marchand, C.H., de Mia, M., Sarkissian, K., Baulcombe, D.C., Peltier, G., Crespo, J.-L., Kruse, O., Jensen, P.-E., Schroda, M., Smith, A.G., Lemaire, S.D., 2018. Birth of a Photosynthetic Chassis: A MoClo Toolkit Enabling Synthetic Biology in the Microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. ACS Synth. Biol. 7, 2074–2086.

Harun, I., Del Rio-Chanona, E.A., Wagner, J.L., Lauersen, K.J., Zhang, D., Hellgardt, K., 2018. Photocatalytic Production of Bisabolene from Green Microalgae Mutant: Process Analysis and Kinetic Modeling. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 57, 10336–10344.

Henke, N., Wichmann, J., Baier, T., Frohwitter, J., Lauersen, K., Risse, J., Peters-Wendisch, P., Kruse, O., Wendisch, V., 2018. Patchoulol Production with Metabolically Engineered Corynebacterium glutamicum. Genes (Basel). 9, 219.

Baier, T., Wichmann, J., Kruse, O., Lauersen, K.J., 2018b. Intron-containing algal transgenes mediate efficient recombinant gene expression in the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Nucleic Acids Res. 46, 6909–6919.

Wichmann, J., Baier, T., Wentnagel, E., Lauersen, K.J., Kruse, O., 2018. Tailored carbon partitioning for phototrophic production of (E)-α-bisabolene from the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Metab. Eng. 45, 211–222.

Lauersen, K.J., Baier, T., Wichmann, J., Wördenweber, R., Mussgnug, J.H., Hübner, W., Huser, T., Kruse, O., 2016a. Efficient phototrophic production of a high-value sesquiterpenoid from the eukaryotic microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Metab. Eng. 38, 331–343.

Lauersen, K.J., Willamme, R., Coosemans, N., Joris, M., Kruse, O., Remacle, C., 2016b. Peroxisomal microbodies are at the crossroads of acetate assimilation in the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Algal Res. 16, 266–274.

Lauersen, K.J., Huber, I., Wichmann, J., Baier, T., Leiter, A., Gaukel, V., Kartushin, V., Rattenholl, A., Steinweg, C., von Riesen, L., Posten, C., Gudermann, F., Lütkemeyer, D., Mussgnug, J.H.J.H., Kruse, O., 2015a. Investigating the dynamics of recombinant protein secretion from a microalgal host. J. Biotechnol. 215, 62–71.

Lauersen, K.J., Kruse, O., Mussgnug, J.H., 2015b. Targeted expression of nuclear transgenes in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii with a versatile, modular vector toolkit. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 99, 3491–3503.

Bogen, C., Al-Dilaimi, A., Albersmeier, A., Wichmann, J., Grundmann, M., Rupp, O., Lauersen, K.J., Blifernez-Klassen, O., Kalinowski, J., Goesmann, A., Mussgnug, J.H., Kruse, O., 2013. Reconstruction of the lipid metabolism for the microalga Monoraphidium neglectum from its genome sequence reveals characteristics suitable for biofuel production. BMC Genomics 14, 926.

Lauersen, K.J., Vanderveer, T.L., Berger, H., Kaluza, I., Mussgnug, J.H., Walker, V.K., Kruse, O., 2013b. Ice recrystallization inhibition mediated by a nuclear-expressed and -secreted recombinant ice-binding protein in the microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 97, 9763–9772.

Lauersen, K.J., Berger, H., Mussgnug, J.H., Kruse, O., 2013a. Efficient recombinant protein production and secretion from nuclear transgenes in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. J. Biotechnol. 167, 101–110.

Lauersen, K.J., Brown, A., Middleton, A., Davies, P.L., Walker, V.K., 2011. Expression and characterization of an antifreeze protein from the perennial rye grass, Lolium perenne. Cryobiology 62, 194–201.

Research Interests Keywords

Synthetic Biology Algal Biotechnology Sustainability Waste-stream Reutilization