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Lab Day Out, Edale August 2017
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Group Leader: Neil Dixon
Rainbow Seed Fund

Neil Dixon originally studied as a Medicinal Chemist and then went on study small molecule-membrane protein interactions during his PhD using a range of biochemical and biophysical techniques. He then trained in Chemical and Synthetic Biology at the University of Manchester. He currently holds a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship in Synthetic Biology based at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB). He is interested in applying molecular based approaches to both understand and harness the power of biological systems. 

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PDRA: Rosa Morra
I am currently working as postdoctoral research associate in the lab of Dr Neil Dixon. IIMG_4861 obtained my PhD in Industrial Biotechnology at the University of Naples in Italy. After that, I gained extensive experience in the fields of biochemistry, structural, molecular and cell biology working as a postdoctoral research associate at Emory University (US), at the University of Oxford (UK), and then at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre (formerly CRUK Paterson Institute) . I then moved to the MIB to apply my experience in gene expression control in the context of synthetic biology working to develop and characterise novel bacterial protein production system with improved attributes. My current research is focused on engineering bacterial stress response pathways to enhance host protein expression and secretion capabilities.

Google Scholar Link

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PDRA: Dharmendra Dheeman
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Visiting Fellow: Geize Tomazetto
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Research Technician: Kate Young
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PhD Student:Ross Kent

Ross graduated from the University of Exeter with a B.Sc. Hons in Biology in 2012, during which he gained work experience at Rothamsted Research. Following this he worked in the Exeter Microbial Biofuels Group, before beginning a M.Sc. by Research at the Shell Technology Centre in Houston, Texas in collaboration with Royal Dutch Shell. Here he worked on consolidated bioprocessing of waste material for biofuel production.

rossDuring his PhD he worked on modern tools for fine-tuned regulation of gene expression in bacteria, with a focus on applying statistical modelling techniques to rapidly engineer and optimise these tools. These modern tools allow robust, tuneable control of expression, with promising application in industrial biotechnology and the production of difficult to express proteins. For a summary of some of the work carried out during Ross’s PhD click here. Following completion of a BBSRC PIPS placement at Synthace in London, Ross developed a passion for applying, automation, Quality by Design (QbD) principles and Design of Experiments methodologies (DoE) in the field of Synthetic Biology, to enable rapid development of tools with robust performance characteristics.

Throughout his PhD Ross engaged with the iGEM competition, held in Boston, and supervised the University of Manchester teams in both 2016and 2017, where both teams successfully won Gold medal and numerous other awards and nominations. Moving forward Ross has received a Flexible Talent Mobility Award from the SYNBIOCHEM centre to collaborate with the Centre for Process Innovation, to develop skills in scale-up, fermentation and bioprocessing.

Twitter: @rwk202

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Visiting PhD Student:Trishna GautomTrishna

Trishnamoni joined the Dixon Lab twice, once as a Newton-Bhabha Fellow in 2017 and next as a Commonwealth Split-site Scholar in 2018-2019. She is a PhD researcher in the Department of Biotechnology, Gauhati University, India. Her research focuses on developing an immuno- biosensor for detection of Citrus TristezaVirus. During her placement in MIB, she acquired skills on molecular biology, protein science and randomised library preparation for directed evolution of carboxylic acid esterases. Trishna is motivated to use the skills acquired during her time in the Dixon Lab in her scientific research career and also is looking forward to disseminating this knowledge to her home laboratory.

Contact: http://www.linkedin.com/in/trishnagautom

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PhD Student:Luminita Horga
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PhD Student:Leopoldo Machado
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PhD Student:Fenryco Pratama
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Before landing in Manchester as a PhD student in the Dixon’s group, I spent my undergraduate and master study in Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia. During that time, I majored the research in the area of environmental microbiology and biotechnology. Currently, I study the application of orthogonal riboswitches as fine gene expression regulatory devices for glycoprotein production, both for industrial and therapeutic impacts. During my free time, I enjoy travelling around interesting places and capturing the moments by photography.

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Visting PhD Student:Trishna Gautom
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PhD Student: Guadalupe Alvarez Gonzalezthumbnail_20191114_112133

Guadalupe began her PhD at the MIB in 2018. Her research focuses on the development of genetically encoded biosensors as tools for diverse applications towards the valorization of aromatic compounds, including the directed evolution of enzymes and the construction of dynamic metabolic pathways. Prior to her PhD, she obtained an MSc in Biotechnology and Enterprise from the University of Manchester, after graduating with an BSc in Biology. During her studies she participated in the iGEM competition, where her team was awarded the gold medal and best model prize. Since then Guadalupe has become very passionate about synthetic biology and cutting-edge biotechnologies, and is always keen to explore the bridge between science and business. Moreover, as part of her DTP PhD placement, she worked as an analyst at the start-up Biorelate, where she was exposed to AI and data technologies and gained very valuable insights into generating data-driven answers to biological questions. Moving forward, Guada is keen to utilise this reasoning approach in her research in order to develop advanced synthetic biology tools for optimised bioprocessing.
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PhD Student:Liz Watton

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Alumni

Dr Adokiye Berepiki – Future bio-manufacturing Hub UoM

Dr Jayender Shankar PDRA – Novartis Speke
Dr Sam Halliwell PDRA
Lisa Butler Technician