Kyle Lauersen

Assistant Professor of Bioscience

Research Interests

Professor Lauersen'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. He 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

  • Green algal hydrocarbon metabolism is an exceptional source of sustainable chemicals. Wichmann, J., Lauersen, K. J., & Kruse, O. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 61, (2020)
  • Eukaryotic microalgae as hosts for light-driven heterologous isoprenoid production. Lauersen, K. J. Planta, 249(1), (2019)
  • Birth of a Photosynthetic Chassis: A MoClo Toolkit Enabling Synthetic Biology in the Microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. 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.,... Lemaire, S. D. ACS Synthetic Biology, 7(9), (2018)
  • Intron-containing algal transgenes mediate efficient recombinant gene expression in the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Baier, T., Wichmann, J., Kruse, O., & Lauersen, K. J. Nucleic Acids Research, 46(13), (2018)
  • Phototrophic production of heterologous diterpenoids and a hydroxy-functionalized derivative from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Lauersen, K. J., Wichmann, J., Baier, T., Kampranis, S. C., Pateraki, I., Møller, B. L., & Kruse, O. Metabolic Engineering, 49 (2018)
  • Efficient phototrophic production of a high-value sesquiterpenoid from the eukaryotic microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Lauersen, K. J., Baier, T., Wichmann, J., Wördenweber, R., Mussgnug, J. H., Hübner, W., Huser, T., & Kruse, O.  Metabolic Engineering, 38 (2016)
  • Peroxisomal microbodies are at the crossroads of acetate assimilation in the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Lauersen, K. J., Willamme, R., Coosemans, N., Joris, M., Kruse, O., & Remacle, C. Algal Research, 16, (2016)



  • Ph.D., Bielefeld University, 2014

  • M.S., Queen's University Kingston, 2011

Professional Profile

  • 2019-Present: Assistant Professor, KAUST, Saudi Arabia

KAUST Affiliations

  • Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division (BESE)
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering Program