Enzyme Technology Specialist
At Oatly I apply the enzyme and foodtech knowledge that I have acquired over the years to develop the best and most sustainable oat products. Enzymes are an important part in turning oats into delicious products, and I am deeply involved in moving the technology forward, finding new solutions and making sure that the products are as nutritious, safe, and sustainable as they should be. As part of the Innovation team, my work varies from quick trouble shooting and defined medium-term projects, to longer term thinking and curiosity- & knowledge-driven research. This amazing combination makes the work really fun, and I am excited to work for a company that truly shares my values about changing the food system, and the world in general, for the better.
Self-employed / consultant
Currently I am also offering my services as a biotechnology and fermentation consultant and as a contract researcher for exciting projects in the areas of alternative protein & foodtech, enzyme characterisation & production and genomics & transcriptomics analyses. Having had the experience of both academia and industry, I bring an application- and utilisation-oriented approach to research projects, and a structured and rigorous scientific approach to company projects.
I have a comprehensive overview of the current developments, as well as in-depth scientific understanding, of the alternative protein sector – from plant-based meat alternatives to microbial protein and new fermentation applications to cellular and precision agriculture. As a decade-long vegetarian, who likes to try out new products, I have also witnessed the increase in non-animal products over the years and know the gaps in the market and the potential for new developments very well.
I am also building up a few projects of my own with the goals of introducing new ways of utilising biotechnology to improve food production, food security and sustainability, as well as bringing science closer to society. My head is brimming with ideas and I can’t wait to get them out into the world. Check back here for updates on that, and drop me a line if you are interested in collaborating or want to book me for a talk or discussion panel!
Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Mycorena is a fast-growing Swedish start-up that develops and produces vegan protein products from filamentous fungi. As CTO during the most crucial years, I was responsible for the strategic and operational vision of the company, as well as all scientific and technical aspects. I developed the fermentation process for production of the filamentous fungi, as well as downstream processing steps, established routines and procedures for smooth production, and made sure that all work and food safety regulations were up to standard.
With my team of 5 people, we ran daily fermentations of up to 300 L volumes and developed a catalogue of product applications. We launched a product from nothing to being in the supermarket in 60 days. With just our elbow grease and determination, we transformed a former paint workshop to a food-grade-certified facility in 3 months. As CTO, I also established and maintained a wide network of big and small food industry players in the Nordics and Europe as customers and partners, as well as close scientific connections to academic researchers in the biotechnology field.
Upscaling and process optimisation was a major part of my work, as well as product development, (successfully) applying for funding, planning with construction and process engineers and communicating the business concept and scientific details to customers, journalists and the general public. During my time at Mycorena, we attracted investments of over 1.2 Mio EUR and national as well as EU-wide grants.
Head of Innovation and R&D
In the early phases of the company, I co-developed and built up the technology behind the idea, which required not only solid scientific knowledge, an entrepreneurial mindset, imagination and practical lab skills, but also great adaptability. It started with a concept and an empty room, and resulted in a fully equipped microbiology and fermentation lab, product prototypes being sent to paying customers, funding, and considerable media interest.
I grew the technical team from one to four employees and optimised the fungal cultivation process that forms the basis of the business concept. I also scouted and found a place to scale up Mycorena’s operations, selected and acquired specialised equipment worth millions of Euros, and made (and tasted) the first food product ever to come out of the company.
Senior Researcher in Industrial Biotechnology
Chalmers University of Technology
A personal grant from Sveriges Ingenjörer Miljöfonden (Swedish Engineers Environmental Fund) allowed me to go outside my scientific comfort zone and try something new. I took a dive into microbial bioprospecting, i.e. searching for so far unknown microorganisms that can produce valuable compounds. I collected dozens of environmental samples, cultivated them on selective growth media, screened for the most interesting candidates and grew them in controlled conditions.
I found several candidates that grew very well on agricultural and forestry waste and produced high amounts of PHA, a precursor to bioplastics production, paving the way for the future utilisation of these microbes in the creation of sustainable materials. I also documented the progress of the research project in blog posts to open up the scientific research process to the wider public.
Postdoctoral Researcher in Industrial Biotechnology
Chalmers University of Technology
The desire to contribute to the establishment of a circular bioeconomy and using renewable resources instead of fossil fuels brought me to Sweden, where I studied the ability of different filamentous fungi to produce enzymes that degrade plant biomass, and utilise cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin.
With bioinformatics methods (genomics, transcriptomics) I analysed fungal species in great detail and mapped their enzyme repertoire. I developed molecular biology techniques to produce a range of enzymes in fungi, yeast and bacteria cells, focussing mainly on feruloyl esterases, glucuronoyl esterases and lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases. Characterising the enzymes in detail involved optimising protein production, running fermentations in bioreactors, protein extraction and purification methods and setting up analytical assays to study the enzymatic activity.
I was involved in several large national and EU-wide projects that required a lot of coordination, collaboration and presentations, and published a number of articles in scientific journals. I attended and gave talks all over Europe in conferences and meetings and organised and lead a scientific symposium in Hanoi together with Vietnamese collaborators. Through that collaboration I had the chance to visit Vietnam on several occasions, exchange knowledge and go on fungi-collection expeditions into remote forests.
Outside of my research work, I taught undergraduates and postgraduates, supervised Masters and PhD students, took over instrument responsibilities, curated a fungal database, established a better communication system in the research group, and initiated and lead an effort for a better online presence and outreach activities of the research group. I also attended several programs regarding utilisation of research to get a better insight into the possibilities of translating academic research into “real-word” applications, and co-founded a local citizen lab organisation (“Laborator”).
PhD Student in Molecular Plant Biotechnology
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU)
In my PhD project, titled “Degradation of misfolded glycoproteins”, I discovered four enzyme that are responsible for detecting faulty proteins inside a cell and marking these faulty proteins for disposal. This contributes to understanding the crucial cellular pathways of protein folding and protein degradation, and helps in finding cures for diseases such as cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s. I worked mainly with plants as model organisms, which not only taught me plant biotechnology techniques (agrobacterium transformation, leaf infiltration, protoplast transformation) but also opened my eyes to the possibilities of selective breeding and genetic modifications of plants, from drought tolerance to disease-resistant cultivars to production of vaccines in plants, and as a consequence to questions of GMOs, food security, food production and molecular pharming.
My research involved finding ways of introducing foreign genes into the plant genome, protein production in plants, yeast and insect cells, as well as sophisticated protein and cell biology analysis methods. Through protein interaction studies I identified binding partners and followed my proteins in the cell using fluorescent labelling and advanced microscopy methods. Working with glycosylated proteins (i.e. proteins with little sugar structures stuck to them) also meant that my research was very connected to glycobiology and I got a deep understanding of everything sugar-related, which was a good foundation for my later research in plant cell walls, lignocellulose and biomass degradation.
I was also head of the PhD student council for the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology and co-established a bioart community at the intersection of art and science that held workshops and exhibitions.