Dr Konstantinos Vavitsas

CSIRO Future Fellow

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology


Moved to Australia as CSIRO Future Science SynBio Fellow to work on synthetic biology and metabolic engineering applications of cyanobacteria. I did my PhD in Biotechnology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, focusing on the photosynthetic production of diterpenoids. I obtained my B.Sc in Biology from the University of Athens, Greece, and my M.Sc. in Applied Biotechnology from Uppsala University, Sweden.

I am a member of the executive board (communications) of Synthetic Biology Australasia, and I actively engage with the synthetic biology communities (e.g. via societies, blogs, and iGEM)

Research Interests

  • Genetic engineering of Cyanobacteria
    Cyanobacteria are a promising platform for the renewable production of high-value chemicals, as they combine photosynthetic growth with simple cellular organization; however their potential has not been fully explored. One of the reasons is the lack of a synthetic biology toolbox for the rapid generation of a large number of constructs, allowing the engineering and testing of multiple production strains. My research aims to overcome this limitation by generating a modular synthetic biology kit, and apply it to the bioproduction of commercially interesting compounds.


  • Bachelor of Science in Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Master of Science, Uppsala University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Copenhagen


  • Vavitsas, Konstantinos, Fabris, Michele and Vickers, Claudia (2018) Terpenoid metabolic engineering in photosynthetic microorganisms. Genes, 9 11: 520. doi:10.3390/genes9110520

  • Crozet, Pierre, Navarro, Francisco J, Willmund, Felix, Mehrshahi, Payam, Bakowski, Kamil, Lauersen, Kyle Jonathan, Pérez-Pérez, Maria-Esther, Auroy, Pascaline, Gorchs Rovira, Aleix, Sauret-Gueto, Susana, Niemeyer, Justus, Spaniol, Benjamin, Theis, Jasmine, Trösch, Raphael, Westrich, Lisa-Desiree, Vavitsas, Konstantinos, Baier, Thomas, Hübner, Wolfgang, de Carpentier, Felix, Cassarini, Mathieu, Danon, Antoine, Henri, Julien, Marchand, Christophe H, de Mia, Marcello, Sarkissian, Kevin, Baulcombe, David C, Peltier, Gilles, Crespo, Jose L, Kruse, Olaf, Jensen, Poul Erik, Schroda, Michael, Smith, Alison G and Lemaire, Stéphane D (2018) Birth of a photosynthetic chassis: a MoClo toolkit enabling synthetic biology in the microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. ACS Synthetic Biology, 7 9: 2074-2086. doi:10.1021/acssynbio.8b00251

  • Stensjö, Karin, Vavitsas, Konstantinos and Tyystjärvi, Taina (2017) Harnessing transcription for bioproduction in cyanobacteria. Physiologia Plantarum, 162 2: 148-155. doi:10.1111/ppl.12606

View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Journal Article

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision