I have always loved biology and the natural world. I studied a Bsc in Biology at the University of Aberdeen, upon learning about genetic technologies it was obvious that I wanted to take this further. I continued by doing an MSc in Industrial biotechnology at Strathclyde university in Glasgow where I learned about synthetic biology and the tools that have been developed. It was evident that this is really powerful and cool and that I wanted to learn and practice more. So I applied to carry on doing research where I would get the opportunity to use the techniques I had been reading about.
My project is based on the development of yeast strains to express fungal biosynthetic pathways encoding industrially valuable biosurfactants. As many fungi produce these compounds but are difficult to cultivate on a large scale there is value in developing strains of yeast capable of producing high titres of these compounds.
I am to express genes for biosurfactant pathways in yeast, first get detectable production, seubsequently optimise expression to get a higher yield. And finally, should all that work, be able to express the pathway in a different species of yeast which has natural tendencies which make it a stronger candidate as a biotechnological host.