Research areas

Synthetic biology is defined as the engineering of biology. Cell-free synthetic biology has emerged as a key enabling technology to substantially reduce experimental time. Specifically, we use both cell-free transcription-translation (TX-TL) or purified enzymes (total enzyme biosynthesis), to study chemical biology within a test-tube. By removing the cell-wall and genetic regulation, this provides several advantages including controlled reactions, resistance to toxicity and isolation of unstable intermediates. We have developed a range of bacterial cell-free systems (Gram-negative and Gram-positive) and expression plasmids, capable of synthesising mg/mL yields of recombinant proteins. Therefore, we are also interested in exploiting cell-free systems for a range of applications within industrial biotechnology.

  • Cell-free systems - cell-free transcription-translation, total enzyme biosynthesis

  • Natural product biosynthesis - modified indole natural products, peptides (past - vitamin B12, coenzyme F430)

  • Antimicrobial resistance - understanding fundamental mechanisms of resistance and novel concepts for discovering new antibiotics

  • Services: Antimicrobial screening - determination of antibiotic mechanism of action, antimicrobial testing, IC50 determination. Contact for collaboration.