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We design and engineer biological systems to meet global challenges. This includes the design of new antibiotics, metabolic engineering for fuels and chemicals, bio-inspired multi-functional materials and new tools and methodologies for this work.

Molecular Biology and Biotechnology researchers from across the plant sciences, microbiology and invertebrate molecular biology contribute to the development of tools and resources for engineering biology, as well as translating biochemical discoveries from our fundamental research into products. Our staff have extensive expertise in enzyme technologies. This includes the discovery of novel marine enzymes with applications in low temperature detergents, the exploitation of microbial hydrogenases for industrial biotechnology and bioenergy research, and the development of antibody-based protocols for the identification of novel, industrially relevant enzymes, and screening for counterfeit products.

We develop novel pest and pathogen control strategies. This includes the development of novel molecules for crop protection - and crucially, their biosafety against non-target organisms, as well as new in-field diagnostic and surveillance tools for plant pests and pathogens.

We are also active in the development of innovative bio-inspired and bio-functional materials. This includes work on functional biocomposites for energy recovery and waste recycling, and materials augmented with cell-free systems for novel responsive materials.

Academic staff contributing to this theme are listed below.

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