PhD students and staff

We have two PhD studentships (one industry funded) available for September 2023 start - details below. We are looking for self-motivated individuals with a specific interest to learn about cell-free gene expression systems.

Cell-free synthetic biology for natural product discovery

BBSRC funded London Interdisciplinary Biosciences Consortium (LIDo) as a 4-year industrial CASE studentship with Dr Sarah Barry at Kings College London and Syngenta UK. The application deadline is the 10th January 2023.

4-year iCASE PhD link to apply

Finding novel antibiotics to counter antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial resistance is a silent pandemic predicted to cause more deaths than cancer by 2050. This project will study how antimicrobial resistance evolves in Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria, which are a major threat due to increasing levels of antimicrobial resistance and virulence factors. There has also been no new clinical antibiotics developed for Gram-negative bacteria since the quinolones in the 1970s. Co-supervised with Dr Christoph Engl at QMUL. The application deadline is the 28th February 2023.

3-year PhD link to apply

Independent funding / Masters / summer student projects

We regularly support summer studentships and MSc research students. Potential projects are listed below. We are also keen to support individuals seeking independent funding from UK or international fellowships, studentships or short-term placement schemes. We are particularly keen to support individuals seeking to learn and expand the area of cell-free synthetic biology. In addition, we also welcome self-funded individuals. Please contact Dr Simon Moore at s.j.r.moore[at] for informal discussions.

Synthetic biology for natural products

Synthetic biology is accelerating the discovery of promising new bioactive natural products. We are interested in studying "silent" biosynthetic gene clusters and specific pathways of interest. Our focus is on developing tools that overcome barriers in natural product discovery, as well as studying biosynthetic pathways.

Novel antibiotics for Gram-negative bacterial infectious diseases

There is an urgent need to develop new antibiotics to prevent mortality from infectious diseases. We are working on new methodologies to identify antibiotics that inhibit Gram-negative bacteria (to be published).

Cell-free transcription-translation and biosynthesis

Cell-free systems are a rapidly developing area in synthetic biology for the implementation of the design-built-test-learn cycle. We are interested in the potential of using cell-free systems to study genetics, biosynthetic gene clusters and single enzymes from natural product biosynthesis.

Fluorescent direct protein (DiPro) biosensors

Fluorescence is a valuable physical property widely exploited for medical imaging through to detecting diseases and toxic chemicals. Recently, we have discovered a novel fluorescent protein that detects specific chemicals. We call this mechanism a direct protein (DiPro) biosensor.

Link - DiPro paper