Dr Petri-Jaan Lahtvee is a senior scientist and group leader at centre for synthetic biology at the University of Tartu Institute of Technology (TUIT). Dr. Lahtvee received his PhD in 2012 from Tallinn University of Technology and continued as a postdoctoral researcher at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. In the group of synthetic and systems biology, he applied multi-layer omics analysis and computational modelling to understand stress regulation mechanisms in yeast with the aim to create more robust cell factories.

As ERA Chair in Synthetic Biology, Dr Lahtvee is planning to address the main challenges in industrial biotechnology. By applying tools from synthetic biology and metabolic engineering, the aim is to create de novo designed cell factory platform strains for the sustainable production of biochemicals.


The central aim of the SynBioTEC project is to develop the necessary preconditions for the development of microbial cell factories and designer cell based biosensors for diagnostics. In our research, they are going to combine experimental and computational approaches to create efficient yeast-based cell factory platform strains for bio-based chemical production. They will focus on fundamental studies of energy efficiency and translational control and use this information to optimize biochemical production.

The research group focuses on three main areas:

1. Cell design and pathway optimization. They are going to use novel regulatory circuits and biosensors to optimize the production of biochemicals.

2. Translational control of protein abundances. They are going to study the initiation and elongation of translational efficiency to elucidate the diversity in translational control.

3. Energy efficiency and cellular maintenance. They aim to understand the differences in energetic efficiency between different strains and use this information to construct more efficient platform strains.