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Cell Engineering

We employ principles from engineering to dissect and manipulate molecular processes and cellular behaviours. To elucidate how biological phenomena emerge from component parts, we apply precision technologies such as genome editing, microfluidics, machine learning and droplet encapsulation.

Our overall aim is to develop the knowledge and tools to control cell function and fate using a combination of synthetic biology and bioengineering and involves close engagement with the Physics of Living Systems and Modelling approaches. At the molecular level we undertake mechanistic dissection of complex processes such as RNA metabolism, polysaccharide biosynthesis, cell cycle and host-pathogen interactions. At the cellular level our focus is on antibiotic resistance in microbes where we seek to detect and control outlier responses from individual cells that underlie persistent infections. At the level of multicellular organisation we concentrate on collective behaviours underpinning tissue formation from stem cells. The scope extends to disease mechanisms, tissue regeneration and drug discovery.

Contributing research groups


Akshay Bhinge

Ge Guo

Nic Harmer

Ben Housden

Stefano Pagliara

Steffen Scholpp

Austin Smith

James Wakefield

Steve West