Background and activities


I am leading an interdisciplinary lab operating within the fields of biophysics, computational and synthetic biology. Our main focus is both understanding and controlling transcriptional and translational processes in microorganisms. We employ a range of methods, including microfluidics, single-cell arrays, and high-throughput screening. We work with a wide range of microorganisms, such as Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (chloroplast), Corynebacterium glutamicum, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas putida KT2440, psychrophilic Pseudomonas, Psychrobacter spp., Pichia pastoris,  Streptomyces albus, S. coelicolor, S. lividans, Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Vibrio natriegens and Thermus thermophilus.

Current Projects

Horizon Europe – Innovative Tools for Sustainable Exploration of Marine Microbiomes: Towards A Circular Blue Bioeconomy and Healthier Marine Environments. Project partner

RCN-FRIPRO-Norway – An interdisciplinary data-driven approach to resolve sigma-factor-specific promoter dependency in bacteria. Project leader

Finalised Projects

EU-H2020 – iFermenter - Conversion of forestry sugar residual streams to antimicrobial proteins by intelligent fermentation. 

EU-H2020 – Advanced toolbox for rapid and cost-effective functional metagenomic screening – microbiology meets microfluidics. 

EPSRC-UK – Design the Future 2: Thinking Soils: Engineered bacteria as computational agents in the design and manufacture of new materials and structures. 

RCN–FORNY2020–NO – Fast-X-Press.

NTNU-Discovery – SUPERAP – fast track for efficient protein production in novel hosts

Lale Lab

For curious minds, more information can be found on our lab website on what we do: Lale Lab


BT3220 (2018 – …) - Advanced Biotechnology
TBT4507 (2013 – …) - Bioinformatics and Statistics and Research Planning, Specialization Course
TBT4508 (2013 – …) - Bioinformatics and Biopolymeric Materials, Specialization Course

TBT4170 (2021) - Biotechnology
TBT4165 (2015 – 2018) - System Biology and Biological Networks
BI2014 (2013) - Molecular Biology

Scientific profile

Google Scholar


  • 2022

Fages-Lartaud M, Prone W, Mueller Y, Lale R. Method for engineering artificial bidirectional promoters. Submitted (Pre-print availble at Research Square)

Lale R, Tietze L, Fages-Lartaud M, Nesje J, Onsager I, Engelhardt K, Wong CFA, Akan M, Hummel N, Kalinowski J, Rückert C, Hohmann-Marriott MF. A universal approach to gene expression engineering. OUP Synthetic Biology.

Fages-Lartaud M, Tietze L, Elie F, Lale R, Hohmann-Marriott MF. mCherry contains a fluorescent protein isoform that interferes with its reporter function. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology - Synthetic Biology.

Tietze L, Mangold A, Hoff M, Lale RIdentification and cross-characterisation of artificial promoters and 5' untranslated regions in Vibrio natriegens. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology - Synthetic Biology.

  • 2021

Wong CFA, van Vliet L, Bhujbal SV, Guo C, Sletmoen M, Stokke BT, Hollfelder F, Lale R. A Titratable Cell Lysis-on-Demand System for Droplet-Compartmentalised Ultrahigh-Throughput Screening in Functional Metagenomics and Directed Evolution. ACS Synthetic Biology

Tietze L, Lale R. Importance of the 5′ Regulatory Region to Bacterial Synthetic Biology Applications. Microbial Biotechnology

  • 2020

Bhujbal SV, Dekov M, Ottesen V, Dunker K, Lale R, Sletmoen M. Effect of design geometry, exposure energy, cytophilic molecules, cell type and load in fabrication of single-cell arrays using micro-contact printing. Scientific Reports.

Le SB, Onsager I, Lorentzen JA, Lale R. Dual UTR–A novel 5' untranslated region design for synthetic biology applications. OUP Synthetic Biology.

  • 2019

Le SB, Onsager I, Lorentzen JA, Lale R. Dual UTR–A novel 5' untranslated region design for synthetic biology applications. Preprint at bioRxiv.

Lale R, Tietze L, Nesje J, Onsager I, Engelhardt K, Wong CFA, Akan M, Hummel N, Kalinowski J, Rückert C, Hohmann-Marriott MF. A universal method for gene expression engineering. Submitted (Preprint available at bioRxiv).

Moghadam MM, Tietze L, Wentzel A, Lale R. Biochemical Characterization of Three Laccase-Like Multicopper Oxidases from Arctic Marine Psychrobacter spp. Submitted.

  • 2018

Schneider O, Simic N, Aachmann F, Rückert C, Kristiansen K, Kalinowski J, Jiang Y, Wang L, Jiang C, Lale R, Zotchev S. Genome Mining of Streptomyces sp. YIM 130001 Isolated from Lichen Affords New Thiopeptide Antibiotic. Front Microbiol.

  • 2017

Ramisetty SK, Langlette P, Lale R, Dias RdS. In vitro studies of DNA condensation by bridging protein in a crowding environment. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules.

Vogel AIM, Lale R, Hohmann-Marriott MF. Streamlining recombination-mediated genetic engineering by validating three neutral integration sites in Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002. Journal of Biological Engineering.

Lewin A, Lale R, Wentzel A. Expression Platforms for Functional Metagenomics – Emerging technology options beyond Escherichia coli. Functional Metagenomics: Tools and Applications. Springer.

  • 2016

Beal J, Haddock-Angelli T, Gershater M, de Mora K, Lizarazo M, Hollenhorst J, et al. Reproducibility of fluorescent expression from engineered biological constructs in E. coli. PLoS ONE.

Arnfinnsdottir, NB., Bjørkøy, A., Lale, R., Sletmoen, M. Heterogeneity in GFP expression in isogenic populations of P. putida KT2440 investigated using flow cytometry and bacterial microarrays. RSC Advances

Moghadam MM, Albersmeier A,Winkler A, Cimmino L, Rise K, Hohmann-Marriott FM, Kalinowski J, Rückert C, Wentzel A, Lale, R. Isolation and genome sequencing of four Arctic marine Psychrobacter strains exhibiting multicopper oxidase activity. BMC Genomics.

  • 2015

Bjerga, GE, Lale, R., Williamson, A. Engineering low-temperature expression systems for heterologous expression of cold-adapted enzymes. Bioengineered

Arnfinnsdottir, NB., Ottesen, V., Lale, R., Sletmoen, M. The design of simple bacterial microarrays. Development towards immobilizing single living bacteria on predefined micro-sized spots on patterned surfaces. PLoS ONE.

  • 2014

Petrov, V., Balasubramaniam, S., Lale, R., Moltchanov, D., Lio’, P., Koucheryavy, Y. Forward and Reverse Coding for Chromosome Transfer in Bacterial Nanonetworks. Nano Communication Networks.

Strand, TA., Lale, R., Degnes, KF., Lando, M. and Valla, S. A new and improved host-independent plasmid system for RK2-based conjugal transfer. PLoS ONE.

DNA Cloning and Assembly Methods. Methods in Molecular Biology, editors Rahmi Lale and Svein Valla. Volume 1116, XI, 303 p. Springer Protocols, Humana Press.

Røkke, G., Korvald, E., Pahr, J., Øyås, O., and Lale, R. BioBrick assembly standards and techniques and associated software tools. DNA Cloning and Assembly Methods. Methods in Molecular Biology, editors Lale, R. and Valla, S. Volume 1116, 2014, pp 1-24 Springer Protocols, Humana Press.

  • 2013

Zwick, F., Lale, R. and Valla, S. Regulation of the expression level of transcription factor XylS reveals new functional insight into its induction mechanism at the Pm promoter. BMC Microbiol. 13: 262

Zwick, F., Lale, R. and Valla, S. Combinatorial engineering for heterologous gene expression. Bioengineered.

Balzer, S., Kucharova, V., Megerle, J., Lale, R., Brautaset, T., Valla, S. A comparative analysis of the properties of regulated promoter systems commonly used for recombinant gene expression in Escherichia coli. Microbial Cell Factories, 12:26.

  • 2012

Zwick, F., Lale, R. and Valla, S. Strong stimulation of recombinant protein production in Escherichia coli by combining stimulatory expression control elements in the expression cassette. Microbial Cell Factories, 11:133.

Almaas, E., Bruheim, P., Lale, R. and Valla, S. Dynamics and robustness of metabolic networks: A systems biology review of Escherichia coli metabolism. Systems Microbiology: Current Topics and Applications. ISBN: 978-1-908230-02-7.

  • 2011

Aakvik, T., Lale, R., Liles, M. and Valla, S. Metagenomic libraries for functional screening, Ch 22. Handbook of Molecular Microbial Ecology I: Metagenomics and Complementary Approaches. Ed. de Bruijn, F.J.

Lale, R., Brautaset, T.and Valla, S. Broad-host-range plasmid vectors for gene expression in bacteria. Met. Mol. Biol. 765, Part 3, 327-343.

Lale, R., Berg, L., Stüttgen, F., Netzer, R., Stafsnes, M., Brautaset, T., Aune, T.E.V. and Valla. S. Continuous control of the flow in biochemical pathways through 5'-UTR sequence modifications in mRNA expressed from the broad-host-range Pm promoter. Appl. Env. Mircobiol. 77: 2648-2655.

  • 2010

Aune, T. E. V., Bakke, I., Drabløs, F., Lale, R., Brautaset, T. and Valla, S. Directed evolution of the transcription factor XylS for development of improved expression systems. Microb. Biotechnol. 3:1, 38–47.

  • 2009

Berg, L., Lale, R., Bakke, I., Burroughs, N. and Valla, S. The expression of recombinant genes in Escherichia coli can be strongly stimulated at the transcript production level by mutating the DNA-region corresponding to the 5'-untranslated part of mRNA. Microb. Biotechnol. 2(3), 379-389.

Brautaset, T., Lale, R. and Valla, S. Positively regulated bacterial expression systems. Microb. Biotechnol. 2 (1), 15-30.

  • 2008

Bar, N. S. and Lale, R. Modeling and control of the protein synthesis process in eukaryotic cells. 47th IEEE Proceedings: Conference on Decision and Control (CDC) 179-184.