Kyle Lauersen

Funded Investigators

Assistant Professor, Bioengineering

Research Interests

Kyle Lauerson's research interests are shared between the fundamental understanding of gene regulation and metabolism in eukaryotic organisms and the use of synthetic biology to enable sustainable biotechnology with microalgae.

Algae are fascinating organisms and can serve as elegant platforms for the development of sustainable biotechnological processes using light and CO2 to generate high-value as well as bulk consumer products. His research leverages the future-focussed technologies collectively known as synthetic biology and metabolic engineering to enable eukaryotic algal genetic engineering aimed at broadening their use as model organisms and green industrial work-horses.  

Professor Lauerson is interested in the use of microalgae as model organisms to probe the nature of eukaryotic genetic regulation, carbon metabolism, and to translate this fundamental understanding into sustainable light-driven green biotechnology concepts.

Selected Publications

  • ​Lauersen, K. J. Eukaryotic microalgae as hosts for light-driven heterologous isoprenoid production. Planta 249, 155–180 (2019). doi:10.1007/s00425-018-3048-x

  • Lauersen, K. J. et al. Phototrophic production of heterologous diterpenoids and a hydroxy-functionalized derivative from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Metab. Eng. 49, 116–127 (2018). doi: 10.1016/j.ymben.2018.07.005

  • Baier, T., Wichmann, J., Kruse, O. & Lauersen, K. J. Intron-containing algal transgenes mediate efficient recombinant gene expression in the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Nucleic Acids Res. 46, 6909–6919 (2018). doi: 10.1093/nar/gky532

  • Wichmann, J., Baier, T., Wentnagel, E., Lauersen, K. J. & Kruse, O. Tailored carbon partitioning for phototrophic production of (E)-α-bisabolene from the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Metab. Eng. 45, 211–222 (2018). doi: 10.1016/j.ymben.2017.12.010

  • Lauersen, K. J. et al. Efficient phototrophic production of a high-value sesquiterpenoid from the eukaryotic microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Metab. Eng. 38, 331–343 (2016). doi: 10.1016/j.ymben.2016.07.013


  • Universität Bielefeld, Germany – Doktors der Naturwissenschaften (Dr. rer. nat./Ph.D.). Biology 2011-2014. Thesis: Heterologous expression of an ice binding protein from the microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii with an optimized nuclear gene expression system. Scholar in the Cluster of Industrial Biotechnology - Graduate Cluster (CLIB-GC);

  • Queen's University, Canada – Master of Science. Biology 2009-2011. Thesis: Lolium perenne antifreeze protein, part of a freeze-tolerance strategy';

  • Queen's University – Bachelor of Education. Specialty: Intermediate-Senior division 2008-2009;

  • Queen's University – Bachelor of Science (Honours). Biology Major 2004-2008. Honours Thesis: Using an antisense strategy to confirm the identity of a candidate gene in the shrivelled leaf activation tagged mutant poplar and identifying the role of epigenetic modification in the regulation of phenotype in activation tagged Populus.

KAUST Affiliations