Synthetic Biology Research Centre

The SBRC - Nottingham has a dedicated floor in the flagship research building: The Centre for Biomolecular Sciences on the University Park campus. This £40 million multidisciplinary research facility, is the home of the SBRC and the focus of SynBio activity at Nottingham. The Centre is physically located within the science and engineering hub on the University Park campus with mechanisms in place for researchers based on other Campuses to spend dedicated time within the team. There are excellent links to the School of Computer Sciences and biologists located in the School of Biosciences at our Sutton Bonington Campus. The SBRC has a wealth of dedicated new equipment, bespoke facilities, cohorts of PhD studentships and many existing international research and industry connections.

The SBRC’s ambition is to combine expertise from a variety of academic disciplines including:

  • Green chemistry
  • Biology
  • Computational sciences

To create optimised chassis for the sustainable production of carbon-based chemicals and fuels.

Our aim; is to replace petrochemical derived commodity compounds, utilise waste GHG, alleviate climate change and facilitate wealth creation through the emerging waste economy.

The University of Nottingham Industrial Biotechnology Capability Statement

We have drawn together all our strands of research related to industrial biotechnology into one document. We hope this will be your portal to everything related to industrial biotechnology at the university:



The Synthetic Biology Research Centre at The University of Nottingham is funded by The Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The centre builds on the pioneering work of Prof Nigel Minton and his group in developing gene manipulation tools to modify the genomes of the Clostridia. It uses synthetic biology which is an exciting new area of research;

  • To combine engineering principles with biology
  • To deliver sustainable production routes for important chemicals and fuels.

These routes will be delivered using bacteria such as Cupriavidis necator for their ability to synthesis and accumulate industrial chemicals

These have been developed over the past century to digest materials and to convert gases, such as carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) into more desirable and useful molecules, reducing the reliance on petrochemicals. The centre offers a strong collaborative culture to accelerate technology transfer and commercial potential. Through effective communication and promotion we will showcase our science and will work closely with groups involved in ethical, legal and societal aspects (ELSA) of science to develop dialogue with the publics and policy-makers and to responsibly establish this new and exciting area of science.

University of

The University of Nottingham, described by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2016 as ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia and hosts a truly global academic community in all three countries.The University of Nottingham is placed 70th in the world and in the top 1% of universities internationally by the latest (2015) QS World University Rankings. Placed 8th in the UK for research power by the latest Research Excellence Framework, Nottingham is a major research institution which delivers work of international significance.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future.


Nottingham has an impressive array of multidisciplinary centres equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. We will draw on these infrastructure facilities to help us deliver outputs for the SBRC.

These outputs are not limited to synthetic biology tools and materials but also include activities in the broader landscape, importantly engaging closely with industry and end-users of synthetic biology products as well as the public and policy makers.

Centres include:

Energy Technologies Building (ETB):

a new exemplar low carbon building dedicated to RD&D in sustainable energy technologies, incorporating resources for SME engagement and support;

Food and Biofuel Innovation Centre(FBIC):

equipment to develop new and efficient ways to turn waste and non-food agricultural products (wood/ straw) into bioethanol, part funded by SAB Miller and ERDF and incorporating demonstration facilities and resources for SME engagement;

Centre for Sustainable Chemistry(CSC):

a new (2016) carbon-neutral building to provide unrivalled facilities for world-leading research in sustainable chemistry, part funded by GSK;


In-house, state of the art high-throughput sequencing technology with dedicated experimental scientists and bioinformaticians to support access and experimental design/analysis.

The Hounsfield Facility:

State of the art PET scanning facility

Strategic Advisory Board

  • Professor Nigel Minton SBRC Director

    Professor Nigel Minton SBRC Director

  • Professor David Fell

    Professor David Fell

  • Dr Alan Burbidge

    Dr Alan Burbidge

  • Professor Lionel Clarke

    Professor Lionel Clarke

  • Dr Edward Green

    Dr Edward Green

  • Dr Ceri Lyn-Adams

    Dr Ceri Lyn-Adams

  • Dr David Lawrence

    Dr David Lawrence

  • Dr Rowan McKibbin

    Dr Rowan McKibbin

  • Professor Ian Shott, SAB Chair

    Professor Ian Shott, SAB Chair

  • Professor Philippe Soucaille

    Professor Philippe Soucaille

  • Professor Alex Toftgaard Nielsen

    Professor Alex Toftgaard Nielsen

  • Professor Brigitte Nerlich

    Professor Brigitte Nerlich

  • Professor John King

    Professor John King

  • Professor Peter Licence

    Professor Peter Licence

  • Professor Eriko Takano

    Professor Eriko Takano

  • Dr Klaus Winzer

    Dr Klaus Winzer

  • Rob Howarth

    Rob Howarth

  • Professor Susan Molyneux-Hodgson

    Professor Susan Molyneux-Hodgson

  • Sophie Walton

    Sophie Walton

Synthetic Biology Research Centre

Centre for Biomolecular Sciences

This a £40 million multidisciplinary research facility, the home of the SBRC and the focus of SynBio activity at Nottingham.

The SBRC - Nottingham has a dedicated floor in the flagship research building: The Centre for Biomolecular Sciences on the University Park campus.


    • Prof Nigel Minton
    • Alan Burbidge
    • Klaus Winzer
    • Dr Ying Zhang
    • Prof Pete Licence
    • Prof Jon Garibaldi
    • Dr Jamie Twycross
    • Prof Brigette Nerlich
    • Prof Jon King
    • Prof Greg Tucker
    • Prof Cameron Alexander
    • Prof Dave Barratt
    • Prof Charlie Hodgman
    • Dr Stephen Heeb
    • Louise Dynes