Applied research has always been a Kent strength and the Industrial Biotechnology group has played a central role in Biosciences’ rising research profile

Members of the group work closely with a wide range of industrial partners in the IB area. The School has particular strengths in (i) application of pathway manipulation/introduction and synthetic biology applications (e.g. for vitamin biosynthesis, biofuels, generation of bacterial microcompartments, metabolic rewiring of cellular systems, manipulation of mammalian cell secretory pathway) in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems, (ii) cell engineering for re-wiring of bacterial, yeast and mammalian cell phenotypes and its application to industrial biotechnology (e.g. to produce new and enhanced cell chassis for biotherapeutic production, for vaccine development, to generate small molecule and high value intermediates), (iii) the study of protein biochemistry and its industrial application in above areas, (iv) fermentation and tools for the selection/evolution of suitable traits. The research is supported by research grants that include a range of substantial consortium grants, including £2.6m and £1.6m InnovateUK/BBSRC ‘Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst’ grants, 2 Horizon2020 Marie Curie Innovative Training Network grants (£1.2m), and a £2.4m BBSRC sLola grant. The research has furthermore taken on a global dimension with the recent award of a £4.9m ‘Global Challenges Research Fund’ grant led by Professor Robinson and Smales, which aims to enhance production of biotherapeutics and animal vaccines in South East Asia.

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School of Biosciences, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NJ