The Sandgren-Ståhlberg lab
Our research group has a strong research base within Molecular biotechnology. This is a science in which biological macromolecules such as proteins, nucleic acids and other cellular metabolites are studied, developed or modified to be used within different types of biotechnological applications.
Our research activities are largely focused on basic scientific studies of biological reaction systems, both enzymatic and microbial, and the use of these systems in biotechnological applications for the conversion of biomass, for example, from agriculture and forestry for the production of renewable fuels, chemicals, materials and food components.
One important research area for the group is studies of the structure and function of proteins, both within and outside cells. An important research focus for the group in this field is on the isolation, purification and structural determination of biological catalysts, enzymes, and characterization of their function in biosynthesis and biodegradation in nature. The latter is a very central knowledge to have in order to be able to effectively convert biomass of different types into fuel or valuable chemicals in order to reduce the use of fossil resources and increase the usability of renewable plant biomass and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Another important research focus for the group is on the design and controlled synthesis of functional protein nanomaterials. An important goal for the group's research in this field is to develop knowledge about how to manufacture instruments, fabrics etc. from protein-rich biological waste. The research in this area is very attractive for practical applications and receives strong support not only from Swedish research councils (VR, Formas, Vinnova), but also directly from major international industries.
Another important area of research is to develop processes for microbial production of enzymes and proteins, as well as other biological molecules that can be used as catalysts in biotechnological processes or as raw materials in the production of new organic materials, often those based on proteins.