School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Staff Profile

Professor Frank Sargent

Associate Dean (Research & Innovation)

Background

Background

Frank joined Newcastle University in August 2018 as a Professor in the School of Natural & Environmental Sciences. Frank is originally from a newtown in Fife, Scotland, and studied biochemistry at the University of Edinburgh (1988-1992) where he became interested in bacterial bioenergetics, membrane biology and metal-containing enzymes. He studied for a PhD in the then Department of Biochemistry at the University of Dundee (1992-1996) before moving to Norwich, England, as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant investigating protein targeting in bacteria. In 2000 Frank was lucky enough to be awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship to lead his own research group in the School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich. During this time Frank and his team predominantly studied the biochemistry of bacterial Tat proofreading chaperones, small proteins that recognise and bind tightly to twin-arginine signal peptides. The quality of this work was recognised by the award of early career research prizes. In 2007 Frank returned to the University of Dundee to take up a Personal Chair in Bacterial Physiology in the then College of Life Sciences. There his research interests turned again towards bacterial bioenergetics and new projects on nickel-dependent hydrogenases and molybdenum-containing enzymes were initiated. Frank was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2011. In parallel to his research efforts, Frank is a committed University teacher.


Education

1996 PhD Bacterial Biochemistry, University of Dundee

1992 BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (Biochemistry), University of Edinburgh


Research Posts

2018-present: Professor of Microbial Biotechnology, Newcastle University

2007-2018: Professor of Bacterial Physiology, University of Dundee

2000-2007: Royal Society University Research Fellow, University of East Anglia

1998-2000: Postdoctoral Research Assistant, University of East Anglia, Norwich

1996-1998: Postdoctoral Research Assistant, John Innes Centre, Norwich


University Posts

2019-present: Associate Dean (Research & Innovation), Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering

2018-present: GM Chair, School of Natural & Environmental Sciences, Newcastle University

2018-present: Professor of Microbial Biotechnology, Newcastle University

2014-2018: Member, Senatus Academicus, University of Dundee

2012-2015: Associate Dean for Research-Led Teaching, University of Dundee

2007-2018: Professor of Bacterial Physiology, University of Dundee


External Academic Posts and Community Service

2019-2021: Member, BBSRC Committee E (Fellowships and Personal Awards)

2018-2022: External Examiner (PGT), MSc Molecular Biotechnology, University of Birmingham

2018: Chair, BBSRC One Health Approaches to Vaccine Development Panel

2018-present: Honorary Treasurer & Trustee, The Biochemical Society

2018-present: Chair, IBioIC CTP Board

2018-present: Member, Faculty of 1000 (Microbiology: Microbial Physiology and Metabolism)

2018: Member, FRIMEDBIO Expert Committee, Research Council of Norway

2017-2018: External Examiner (PGT), MSc Industrial Biotechnology, University of York

2017: Member, BBSRC 17ALERT Panel

2016-2018: IBioIC Scientific Advisory Board

2016-2017: Chair, BBSRC Committee B (Plants, Microbes, Food and Sustainability)

2014-2018: External Examiner (PGT), MSc Synthetic Biology & Biotechnology, University of Edinburgh

2013-2017: External Examiner (UGT), BSc & MSci Biochemistry, University of York

2013-2016: Deputy Chair, BBSRC Committee B (Plants, Microbes, Food and Sustainability)

2013: Member, joint BBSRC-DBT Sustainable Biofuels and Bioenergy Panel

2012-2017: Senior Editor, Microbiology

2012-2017: Editor, Biochemical Journal


Measures of Esteem

2014: Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Contribution, University of Dundee

2011: Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

2011: Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology

2010: The Wain Medal, University of Kent

2009: FEBS Young Scientist Prize

2007: The Colworth Medal, The Biochemical Society

2006: The Fleming Prize, The Microbiology Society


Research

Hydrogenases, formate dehydrogenases and hydrogen-dependent carbon dioxide reductases.

Currently Funded by: CO2Chem (EPSRC) and BBSRC (BB/S000666/1 and BB/T508743/1)
Postdoctoral Researchers involved: Dr Magali Roger
PhD Students involved: Tom Reed
Masters Students involved:
Undergraduate Students involved:





Synthetic Biology

Postdoctoral Researchers involved: Dr Ciaran Kelly
PhD Students involved: John Allan
Masters Students involved:
Undergraduate Students involved:





Bacterial Protein Secretion Pathways

Currently Funded by: BBSRC (BB/R016453/1)
Postdoctoral Researchers involved: Dr Alex Finney
PhD Students involved:
Masters Students involved:
Undergraduate Students involved:





Publications