The CSIRO Biocatalysis & Synthetic Biology Team, 2017.
Front: Sarah Rottet, Carol Hartley, Gunjan Pandey.
Back: Mihir Shah, Lygie Esquirol, Colin Scott, Michelle Williams, Phil Robbins, Nigel French.
Dr Colin Scott
Colin was awarded his PhD in Molecular Microbiology in 2000 from the University of Sheffield, UK, where he worked on transcriptional regulation and physiological adaptation in bacteria. He move to Australia and joined CSIRO to develop enzymes that degrade and detoxify pesticides, and to study how they evolve. This work segued into developing enzymes for biocatalysis. He now leads the Biocatalysis & SynBio Team at CSIRO in Canberra, Australia and the Chemicals & Fibres Application Domain of the CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform.
Dr Carol Hartley
Carol was awarded her PhD in Enzymology and Biocatalysis in 2002 from Rhodes University, South Africa. She is the Enzyme Technology leader at CSIRO in Canberra, Australia.
Dr Andrew Warden
Andrew gained his PhD in Chemistry 2005 from Monash University in Melbourne. He has since focused on computer-based modelling of proteins, including enzymes, to provide detailed understandings of atomic interactions. This information is then used to guide engineering efforts. In addition to his contributions to the Biocatalysis and Synthetic Biology Team, Andrew leads the Metabolomics and Proteomics Team at CSIRO.
Dr Mihir Shah
Mihir was awarded his PhD in Biochemical Engineering in 2016 from Technical University Delft, The Netherlands. He is currently a research fellow in Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform (SynBio FSP) in CSIRO Canberra, his project focuses on metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli to introduce a new, metabolically orthogonal redox pathway that allows the production of industrially relevant bioproducts.
Dr Hafna Ahmed
Hafna recently received her PhD from the Australian National University and joined CSIRO this year to work on a joint project between the Biocatalysis & SynBio Team and Dr. Andrew Warden's Metabolomics & Proteomics Team in CSIRO Land & Water. Hafna is currently investigating signal recognition and transduction in RNA mediated-translational regulation.
Dr Phil Robbins
Hailing from Scotland where Phil completed his PhD under Prof. Lee Cronin at University of Glasgow. Phil joined the CSIRO Biocatalysis team in late 2017. His previous research spanned a broad spectrum of analytical techniques – ion-mobility mass spectrometry, electrochemistry, feedback loops and automation – and subject matter, including: inorganic nanoclusters, electrogenic cyanobacteria, and photophysiology. Phil's current interests concern biotransformations in highly modular, low-cost systems, and their application to establishing ex vivo metabolic networks for small-scale, accessible sustainable chemistries.
Dr Hadi Nazem-Bokaee
Hadi received his PhD in Biological Systems Engineering in 2014 from Virginia Tech, USA. He worked as a Postdoctoral Scholar at Pennsylvania State University, USA, before he joined CSIRO in 2018. His research includes developing / applying computational tools for modeling cellular metabolism and designing metabolic pathways. In his current projects, he employs metabolic modelling to study (1) metabolism of lichen symbiosis, (2) E. coli strains that produce and use cofactor F420, and (3) methylotrophy by recombinant strains of yeast for conversion of C1 gaseous molecules into useful biomolecules (with Tom Williams at Macquarie University).
Dr Albert Ardevol Grau
Albert gained his PhD in Chemistry from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, in 2012, was a Marie-Curie fellow at the Max-Planck Institute for Biophysics between 2014 and 2018 and an EMBO fellow at ETH from 2012 to 2014. In his current Future Science Platform project he is designing enzymes with novel reactivity for biotechnological applications using methods in theoretical enzymology (enhanced sampling of the conformational phase space, free energy calculations and QM/MM molecular dynamics simulations), then synthesising and testing those new enzymes. His project is a collaboration between the Biocat & SynBio Team and the Tom Peat's Group in CSIRO Manufacturing.
If you are interested in a PhD project with the Biocatalysis & SynBio Team at CSIRO, please contact us.
James Antoney completed his Bachelor of Biotechnology at ANU with first class Honours in 2015.
In 2016 James commenced his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Colin Jackson (ANU) and the CSIRO Biocat & SynBio Team on the potential biotechnology applications of cofactor F420, a low redox potential flavinoid involved in methanogenesis, tetracycline biosynthesis and mycobacterial persistence.
Suk Woo Kang
Kang is a joint student between the Jackson Lab (ANU) and the CSIRO Biocat & SynBio Team. He is working on enzymes that use the unusual cofactor F420, a low redox potential flavinoid that is involved in processes such as methanogenesis, tetracycline biosynthesis and mycobacterial persistence.
Raquel was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. She completed her Bachelor of Chemistry at Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil) with some research stays and internships at University Graz (Austria) and the Research Center Jülich (Germany). In July of 2019 Raquel moved to Australia to develop her PhD studies on the splendid biocatalytic nanomachines. Her project is a cooperation between the Speight Lab (Queensland University of Technology) and CSIRO Biocat & SynBio Team.