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Nielsen Lab

Research Projects



Human Metabolic Atlas
We are building genome-scale metabolic models for different human cell types and using these models for identification of novel prognostic biomarkers for human diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer (see We have many national and international collaborators on this project.

Gut Metagenomics
We are analyzing the gut metagenome in different cohort studies and aim to identify biomarkers and novel treatment strategies for human diseases. Much of our work in this field is in close collaboration with Prof. Fredrik Båckhed at Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University.

Microbial models
Genome-scale metabolic models are developed for different microorganisms and we are in particular advancing genome-scale modeling of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. All our models are available through

Stress and Regulation
Key signal transduction pathways in S. cerevisiae are analyzed using systems biology approaches. Our focus is on energy and lipid metabolism.

Protein production
Using systems biology and metabolic engineering we are advancing the use of S. cerevisiae for recombinant protein production. Through a combination of advanced modeling and engineering of the secretory pathway we are developing yeasts that can be used for production of human therapeutic proteins and for consolidated bioprocesses.

Advanced Biofuel Production
We have a large and focuses effort on developing yeast cell factories for production of advanced biofuels that can be used as diesel and jet fuels.

Biochemical Production
We are developing yeast cell factories for production of chemical building blocks and fine chemicals, e.g. 3-OH-propionic acid that can be used for sustainable production of super-adsorbent materials and isoprenoids used as perfumes and fine fragrances.

Synthetic Biology
We are developing novel synthetic biology tools for metabolic engineering of yeast. These research activities are mainly carried out at the DTU site of Center for Biosustainability (see Excelence Centers).


We provide a number of infrastructures that are part of either Chalmers infrastructures or National infrastructures.

Databases, BioMet Toolbox, Bioinformatics
We are developing a number of repositories and databases that are combined with advanced systems biology tools and bioinformatics tools. All tools and database are available through

We host an extensive fermentation infrastructure consisting of 32 DASGIB bioreactors and more than 10 other highly instrumented bioreactors.

We are part of the Swedish Universities Metabolomics Infrastructure (hosted by Umeå University) and is also part of Chalmers infrastructure for metabolomics. Our infrastructure involves 2 GC-MS systems and 5 HPLC systems.


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