Alison Smith is Professor of Plant Biochemistry in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge, where she is currently Head of Department. Her research interests are focussed around the metabolism of plants, algae and bacteria, in particular of vitamins and cofactors. She has pioneered the use of synthetic biology in algal biotechnology, including the use of modular cloning of standardised parts and workflows, and has used these to generate artificial regulatory circuits to control transgene expression. Current projects include understanding how cofactors regulate microalgal gene expression, establishing microalgal production platforms to produce compounds of commercial interest such as high-value pigments and plant natural products, and establishing synthetic microbial communities with algae and bacteria to support algal production. In addition, Alison Smith is Director of the Algal Innovation Centre in Cambridge, a facility that allows pilot-scale testing of algal-based solutions to improve sustainability such as the use of algal cultivation for production of plant natural products, for vitamin-rich food ingredients and for waste valorisation.
For details of her research and recent publication, please visit HERE.
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