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Professor of Chemistry with a specialisation in Biochemistry, at the School of Business, Engineering and Science. Appointed in 2000.
During his entire research career, Lars-Gunnar Franzén has studied energy transduction, i.e. photosynthesis and cellular respiration, in plants and algae. His research includes two different aspects of energy transduction: the biogenesis of organelles, and the light reactions of photosynthesis. This research makes use of both biochemical and molecular biological methodologies.
Photosynthesis and cellular respiration takes place in organelles, restricted areas within cells which are known as chloroplasts or mitochondria; the latter are found also in animals. The majority of proteins which fulfil their functions inside the organelle are synthesized outside the organelle and must therefore be transported into the organelle.
To guide the protein to its proper localisation in the cell, it is synthesized with an extension, known as a presequence. This functions as an "address tag", and is recognized by receptors on the surface of the organelles, after which the protein can be transported into the organelle.
In the field of organelle biogenesis, Lars-Gunnar Franzén has studied what these address tags look like and how they can direct a protein to a chloroplast or a mitochondrion.
In the field of the light reactions of photosynthesis, Lars-Gunnar Franzén has studied what function chloroplast proteins fulfil when they have been transported into the chloroplast. The research deals with the structure of some of the proteins that constitute photosystem I, one of two photosystems involved in the conversion of light energy into chemical energy, and how these proteins interact with each other and with other proteins. The objective is to obtain a more detailed view of the process of photosyntesis.
"My work comes under the heading of basic research, and does not directly aim at applications. However, in a long-term view, more detailed knowledge of photosynthesis may be useful in plant cultivation".
Lars-Gunnar Franzén was born 1957 in Kållered. Chemistry studies at Gothenburg University, PhD in Biochemistry at the same university in 1987. Post-doctoral fellow at the University of Geneva 1987-89, followed by a position as junior researcher at Stockholm University and at Gothenburg University. Appointed Associate Professor (docent) in Biochemistry at Stockholm University in 1992. Appointed Senior lecturer in Chemistry at Halmstad University in 1998. Lars-Gunnar Franzén was appointed to the position of Professor at Halmstad University in 2000.