Bioengineering to Produce valuable Bioactive Molecules from Nature

The maintenance and extension of healthy human lifespans demands the discovery and supply of medicinal and agrochemical products.

Discoveries must overcome numerous global challenges such as the rise in cancers, multidrug-resistant pathogens, emerging viral diseases, and unsustainable agricultural practices, and they must keep pace with an aging population.

Many of these medicinal and agrochemical products are derived from microbes and plants.

With the growing availability of sequenced genomes, it is now possible to identify the components of the biosynthetic pathways which build these substances within plants and microbes.

We will harness our expertise in biosynthesis to engineer these substances and enhance their production using new heterologous expression systems, where proteins are produced in a host system.  We will both optimise existing chemistries and identify new ones using genome mining approaches to tailor products to improve biological properties and provide the potential for future exploitation.

The aim of this research is to exploit the information available through new genomic and imaging techniques to discover, harness, develop and produce valuable bioactive metabolites from plants and microbes.