Current position at VTT
Prof., Vice president, Research, Solutions for natural resources and environment
Research background and current research topics
The overall topic of my research is enzyme-aided modification of biomass components for different industrial end-uses. The research started on elucidating the impact different hydrolytic enzymes for pulp and paper processing. Concomitantly new enzyme activities were screened and their role in biomass modification was elucidated. The enzymes were combined to kraft pulp bleaching, treatment of paper mill waters, deinking, and modification of the properties of recycled fibres. Enzyme-aided processing of different textile fibres were also developed using the same enzyme toolbox.
After several years of research with hydrolytic lignocellulose degrading enzymes the enzyme research at VTT was focusing more on oxidative enzymes and the suitability of oxidative enzymes for functionalisation of chemical and mechanical pulps, different lignocellulose derived components or food matrices is now a key topic. Enzyme-aided structure engineering of proteins and carbohydrates in different food raw materials is currently been investigated in several projects. This entity involves the whole research chain from enzyme discovery, analysis of the mode of action of the crosslinking enzymes and finally development of food processing applications.
My current biorefinery- oriented research activities includes development of enzyme-aided extraction and valorisation processes for various lignocellulosic and agro raw materials and by-products. In this context the bio-stage is combined to mechanical or physical unit-operations.
Current major research projects at VTT
PRO-ENZ (Enzymatic tailoring of protein interactions and functionalities in
- EU-Marie Curie ITN-project
ERA-NOEL (Novel enzyme tools for production of functional oleochemicals from
- Era-IB project
LIPFUN (Discover and exploitation of novel lipid functionalizing enzymes in
- TEKES Symbio-project
Doctor of Technology, 1991 Helsinki University of Technology
Lic. Techn., 1988, Helsinki University of Technology
M.Sc (Chem. eng), 1985, Helsinki University of Technology
From 1991 onwards at VTT with different positions (Research professor, Research manager, Research group manager, Scientist/ Senior Research Scientist);
1988-1990, Research scientist, Academy of Finland;
1985-1986, Teaching assistant, Helsinki University of Technology
Positions of trust and professional assignments
Member of the scientific advisory board of the Finnish Food industries
Academy of Finland, member of the Research Council of natural sciences and
1. Novel Coprinopsis cinerea polyesterase that hydrolyzes cutin and suberin
Kontkanen, Hanna; Westerholm-Parvinen, Ann; Saloheimo, Markku; Bailey, Michael; Rättö, Marjaana; Mattila, Ismo; Mohsina, Marzia; Kalkkinen, Nisse; Nakari-Setälä, Tiina; Buchert, Johanna
Applied and Environmental Microbiology . Vol. 75 (2009) No: 7, 2148 - 2157
2. Using crosslinking enzymes to improve textural and other properties of food
Buchert, Johanna; Selinheimo, Emilia; Kruus, Kristiina; Mattinen, Maija-Liisa; Lantto, Raija; Autio, Karin
Novel Enzyme Technology for Food Applications. Rastall, E. (ed.) . Woodhead Publishing Limited. Cambridge, UK (2007), 101 - 139
3. Oxidation of milled wood lignin with laccase, tyrosinase and horseradish peroxidase
Grönqvist, Stina; Viikari, Liisa; Niku-Paavola, Marja-Leena; Orlandi, M.; Canevali, C.; Buchert, Johanna. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology . Vol. 67 (2005) No: 4, 489 - 494
4. Production and characterization of a secreted, C-terminally processed tyrosinase from the filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei
Selinheimo, Emilia; Saloheimo, Markku; Ahola, Elina; Westerholm-Parvinen, Anu; Kalkkinen, Nisse; Buchert, Johanna; Kruus, Kristiina. FEBS Journal .Vol. 273 (2006) No: 18, 4322 - 4335
5. Hydrolysis of brewer's spent grain by carbohydrate degrading enzymes
Forssell, Pirkko; Kontkanen, Hanna; Schols, Henk A.; Hinz, Sandra; Eijsink, Vincent G.H.; Treimo, Janneke; Robertson, Jim A.; Waldron, Keith W.; Faulds, Craig B.; Buchert, Johanna. Journal of the Institute of Brewing . Vol. 114 (2008) No: 4, 306 – 314
Marcus Wallenberg Prize 2003 (Sweden) for a remarkable innovation in the area
of forestry and forest industries together with Prof. Tapani Vuorinen, Prof.
Maija Tenkanen and Dr. Anita Teleman. (www.mwp.org)
Tappi best research paper award 1999 (T. Vuorinen, P. Fagerström, J. Buchert,
M. Tenkanen and A. Teleman) for “Selective hydrolysis of hexenuronic acid
groups and its application in ECF and TCF bleaching of kraft pulps”.
C.J. Jansson’s award 1996 (Johanna Buchert, Liisa Viikari and Pekka Ehtonen).
Finnish paper Engineers’ associatio
Vice President, Strategic Research, Bio- and chemical processes
+358 20 722 5146