Johan Larsbrink

Biology and Biological Engineering

Research area:

My research group focuses mainly on studies of microbial carbohydrate-active enzymes - the enzymes able to deconstruct the varied polysaccharides that build up plant biomass. Both bacteria and fungi are used as sources for enzymes, and grown in the lab on various types of biomass in order to discover which enzymes they use in the degradation process. We then produce and characterize the enzymes biochemically to understand their properties and what substrates they are able to target, and likewise what products they release. We also pursue structure-function studies using X-ray crystallography to determine the structures of the enzymes in atomic resolution, which gives detailed information on their mechanisms and interactions with complex substrates.