Genome editing and transformation technologies are invaluable tools for functional genomic studies and crop improvement programs.
Underpinning these studies and often the starting point for most functional genomic investigations are DNA cloning strategies and the technologies used to implement them.
Mark is responsible for designing and developing constructs for transformation and genome editing in crops (wheat, barley, Brassica, potato and tomato) for the BRACT (Biotech Resources for Arable Crop Transformation) facility.
Mark’s expertise lies in DNA cloning technologies. Within his role at the transformation facility Mark uses bioinformatics, cloning techniques and performs downstream analysis on transgenics and genome edited plants.
Many research groups locally and globally have depended on Mark for advice on construct design and assembly, so even where he has not built the constructs himself, he has still played an important role in numerous projects.
Mark received an honorary appointment from the UEA for his work with PhD students at the John Innes Centre and lecturing on the MSc course. Mark was nominated for the GEN ISP “GENius of the Month” award, mainly for his enthusiasm when teaching lab visitors.
Mark is interested in new ideas and innovation. Mark instigated the base editing studies at the John Innes Centre, having recognised the potential in mammalian systems, initially they were applied to wheat with encouraging results.