Research Team

Dr Adokiye Berepiki

Dr Adokiye Berepiki

Research Fellow, Future BRH

Adokiye Berepiki is a strain engineer who has worked on a range of projects during the last six years of postdoctoral research, specialising in metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, recombinant protein production and fermentation. He firmly believes that biotechnology is the manufacturing technology of the future; however, engineering life poses unique challenges that require a new approach to experimentation. Adokiye wants to transform molecular biotechnology into a more predictable and efficient enterprise through the application of structured, systematic experimentation (Design of Experiments), automation and high-throughput screening.

Dr Sebastian Cosgrove

Dr Sebastian Cosgrove

Research Fellow, Future BRH

Seb received his undergraduate chemistry degree from the University of Manchester in 2013, before moving to the University of Leeds to complete his PhD in synthetic organic photochemistry, under the supervision of Professor Steve Marsden. Following completion of his PhD, Seb was awarded an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship at the University of Manchester, working with Professor Nick Turner and in collaboration with Professor John Woodley at DTU Copenhagen, researching oxidase enzymes and using new technologies such as flow chemistry for increasing biocatalytic reaction efficiency. As Research Fellow within the Future BRH, Seb will focus on continuous flow for biocatalysis.

Dr Tobias Hedison

Dr Tobias Hedison

Research Fellow, Future BRH

Toby received a first class degree in Biochemistry and was awarded a PhD in Biophysical Chemistry from the University of Manchester in 2016. During his postgraduate studies, he investigated the catalytic mechanism of the diflavin oxidoreductases family of enzymes, developing novel methods to examine redox-linked protein domain dynamics. From 2016, Toby was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Manchester, studying the role of redox partner tethering in enzyme catalysis and contributing his expertise in Enzymology to many research projects within the MIB. Toby is a multifaceted scientist with interests in mechanistic enzymology, biophysics, protein engineering and spectroscopic assay development. Within the Future BRH, he will focus on the development of industrial biocatalysts and high throughput assays to study enzyme turnover.

Dr Nicole Leferink

Dr Nicole Leferink

Research Fellow, Future BRH

Nicole Leferink is an experienced research scientist with a background in biochemistry and biotechnology. She obtained a BSc degree from the Saxion University of Applied Sciences followed by an MSc and PhD degree from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. For her postdoctoral research she joined the molecular enzymology group of Prof. Nigel Scrutton at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology. Nicole’s main research interests are rational engineering and directed evolution towards the development of designer enzyme activities for applications. Nicole has experience in enzyme discovery, characterisation, and engineering, high-throughput screening, laboratory automation, and biomanufacturing using synthetic biology.

Dr Aisling Ní Cheallaigh

Dr Aisling Ní Cheallaigh

Research Fellow, Future BRH

Aisling is an accomplished research scientist with a wealth of transferable skills gained in both academic and industrial sectors. A synthetic organic chemist by training, she is well versed in process development and scale up of high value biologically active molecules. Her work has mainly involved the synthesis of complex human and bacterial oligosaccharides and the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Aisling also has experience in optimisation of enzymatic cascade biotransformations to generate monoterpenoid targets. Her research interests focus on the incorporation of enzymatic processes into the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients and value added chemicals.

Dr Karl Payne

Dr Karl Payne

Research Fellow, Future BRH

Karl Payne received a BSc(Hons) in Chemistry and an MRes in Biomolecular Science at the University of York, before completing a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Leeds. His first post-doc was at the Centre for Extremophile Research at the University of Bath, where he worked on multienzyme complexes from thermophiles. Since moving to MIB, Karl has worked on enzymes that have potential uses in bioremediation of pollutants or in the production of hydrocarbons for fuels and plastics. He hopes to bring these past experiences and interest in structural enzymology, protein engineering and synthetic biology to bear in the Future BRH.

Dr Itziar Penafiel

Dr Itziar Penafiel

Research Fellow, Future BRH

Itziar received her PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Alicante in 2012. After a two years postdoctoral position with Prof Carmen Claver  (Tarragona, Spain) working on the immobilization and recycling of organometallic catalysts, she was awarded a fellowship which allowed her to join the lab of Prof Alexei Lapkin (Cambridge, UK) where she expanded her flow chemistry skills. In 2017 she moved to work on a multidisciplinary project involving electrosynthesis and biocatalysis in flow at the University of Manchester with Prof Michael Greaney and Prof Nicholas Turner. As a Future BRH fellow, Itziar’s research interest are focused on the development of industrially interesting biotransformations under continuous flow, including multi-enzymatic cascades and enzyme immobilization.

Dr Aled Roberts

Dr Aled Roberts

Research Fellow, Future BRH

Aled has a broad academic background spanning chemistry, materials engineering and synthetic biology. Specialising in interdisciplinary research, he hopes to bridge the gap between synthetic biology and other disciplines – such as materials science, polymer chemistry and bio-medical materials. After obtaining his MChem degree at the University of Liverpool, Aled undertook a PhD in Materials Chemistry jointly at the University of Liverpool and at the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) in Singapore. Following this, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Manchester where he worked on several projects at the interface of materials science and synthetic biology.

Dr Matthew Russell

Dr Matthew Russell

Research Fellow, Future BRH

Matt is an analytical biochemist specialising in quantitative protein mass spectrometry.  He has an undergraduate masters degree in chemistry from the University of St Andrews and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge focusing on quantitative proteomics. After completing his PhD Matt worked in industry for LGC working on methods to quantify host cell contaminants in biologic medicines before returning to academic research with two postdoctoral research associate positions at the University of Manchester. In the first project Matt quantified expression of drug transporter and metabolising proteins in human gut and liver tissues to inform systems biology models to predict drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics. In the second project Matt quantified proteins expression in human serum samples to identify potential biomarkers for ovarian cancer. At Future BRH Matt is working on analytical methods to quantify enzyme expression in host strains.

Viranga Tilakaratna

Viranga Tilakaratna

Senior Research Technician, Future BRH

Viranga obtained her B.Sc in Microbiology from University of Pune, India, and Masters in Biotechnology from University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. She joined The University of Manchester as a Research Technician in 2010 and has worked with several groups across a range of areas including microbiology, molecular biology and tissue culture. Viranga’s current role is to support the overall delivery of the Future BRH research programme and provide coordination of laboratory health and safety and procurement. She works alongside the Future BRH Project Manager to ensure smooth day to day research operation of the Hub.

SIGN UP TO THE FUTURE BRH NEWSLETTER

FUTURE BIOMANUFACTURING RESEARCH HUB FUNDED BY

Future BRH - Future Biomanufacturing Research Hub - Funded by EPSRC
Future BRH - Future Biomanufacturing Research Hub - Funded by BBSRC

© Future BRH - Future Biomanufacturing Research Hub | Privacy and Cookie Policy