Synthetic biology and microbial biotechnology offer sustainable routes to the manufacture of commodity and high-value chemicals. However, currently designing industrial strains is a time-intensive and expensive process. A key cause of this is our difficulty in predicting the impact novel pathways have on the host metabolism and wider physiology leading to failure of most initial designs. Microbial ‘cell factories’ are also subjected to industrial constraints such as fermentation strategy and cost.
In this project, the candidate will develop mathematical models of microbial growth over the course of industrial processes. Using these models, we will identify key interactions which result in poor yields and production failures. We will develop control strategies to improve pathway performance and robustness to both biological and industrial constraints. We anticipate candidates will spend time undertaking experimental work in a partner lab to generate data to refine their computational models and to validate the design strategies they uncovered during their research. Candidates can also benefit from our links with industrial partners who will provide commercial insights and feedback throughout the project. Projects can be tailored to the candidates’ skills and interests. Candidates will build a broad skill set in design, engineering and the application of modern biotechnologies providing a strong foundation for future careers in academia or industry.
Note: Should your application for admission be accepted you should be aware that this does not constitute an offer of financial support. Please refer to the scholarships & funding pages.
The University of Warwick provides an inclusive working and learning environment, recognising and respecting every individual’s differences. We welcome applications from individuals who identify with any of the protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010.