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Gibson Group: Julia Lipecki

Julia was part of the Gibson group for a portion of her PhD (2016-2017). She is now continuing her research in Systems Biology at The University of Warwick. See below for details of Julia's work whilst a Gibson Group member.


Julia was born and grew up in Poland in the suburbs of Warsaw. In 2010 she moved to England to undertake her undergraduate studies. In 2013 she obtained a BSc in Biochemistry from King's College London. Following this, in 2014 she completed a MSc in Applied Biosciences and Biotechnology at Imperial College London. She was then offered a studentship on the MIBTP (a BBSRC funded DTP) at University of Warwick starting in September 2015. Prior to commencing her PhD, she worked as a Laboratory Technician for the NatureMetrics start-up company.

The first year of the MIBTP comprised a training year which included quantitative skills modules (statistics, programming, sysMIC), tailored masterclasses, two mini-projects and a professional internship. Details of the projects and internship are provided below:

  • Mini-project 2: July 2016 - September 2016, Poly(ampholytes) as Antifreeze Protein Mimetics for Cryopreservation, supervised by Prof. Matthew I. Gibson at the University of Warwick
  • Internship: April 2016 - June 2016, NatureMetrics in Egham
  • Mini-project 1: January 2016 - March 2016, Novel Polymeric Iron Chelators for Iron Regulation in Microbial Communities, supervised by Dr Francisco Fernandez-Trillo at the University of Birmingham

Project Overview

Plastic oceans, can microbes clean our mess?

Julia's PhD project is jointly supervised by Prof. Matthew Gibson (Department of Chemistry) and Dr Joseph Christie-Oleza (School of Life Sciences) and is funded by the MIBTP scholarship. This project will take an interdisciplinary approach to study the biodegradation of synthetic polymers in the marine environment by using model polymer chemistry to create synthetic probes to determine the fate of the plastics and their interactions with microbial communities.

Outreach Work

STEM Ambassador, October 2016 - onwards


[1] Stubbs, C., Lipecki, J., Gibson, MI. Biomacromolecules, 2017,8, 295–302. "Regio-Regular Alternating Polyampholytes have Enhanced Biomimetic Ice Recrystallization Activity Compared to Random Copolymers and the Role of Side Chain Verses Main Chain Hydrophobicity". Link

Poster presentations

April 2017: MIBTP Symposium 2017, University of Leicester, Well-defined Polymers to Study the Environmental Fate of Plastics

September 2016: MIBTP Poster Session 2016, University of Warwick, Poly(ampholytes) as Antifreeze Protein Mimetics for Cryopreservation


Marine Biological Association: Student Member

Society for Applied Microbiology: Early Career Scientist Member

Royal Society of Chemistry: Associate Member



Imperial College London

MSc in Applied Biosciences and Biotechnology, 2013-2014

King's College London

BSc in Biochemistry, 2010-2013


j dot lipecki at warwick dot ac dot uk