Alexander Orr

Developing a synthetic biology toolkit for manipulation of central metabolism in microorganisms

 Synthetic biology is often used to introduce new metabolic pathways into microorganisms for the production of valuable products. However, to obtain good yields of these products, it is often necessary to alter the expression of endogenous genes of the organism's central metabolism to divert carbon flux towards the necessary intermediates. In this project we will develop a synthetic biology toolkit based on the EcoFlex format, which will allow modification of expression of endogenous genes by methods including CRISPR interference, antisense RNA, and gene deletion and replacement. This will be tested for the manipulation of product formation in Escherichia coli and possibly other organisms (eg Bacillus subtilis) as time permits.

I am in my final semester studying for a BSc in Biotechnology here at Edinburgh university and enjoy spending my free time playing sports and reading the newspaper.