I am a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, studying the role and impact of open approaches to intellectual property for a sustainable and equitable bioeconomy. In particular I research the potential for local, distributed manufacturing of enzymes to improve access and build capacity for biological research. This work combines technical development using synthetic biology-based platform technologies with qualitative research on challenges faced by molecular biologists globally through interviews and case studies. I collaborate extensively with researchers and innovators in Ghana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, South Africa, Chile, US, Europe, China and beyond.
Education and Career:
University of Oxford, Department of Zoology, Oxford, UK
Doctor of Philosophy (Zoology), 2010 – 2015
University of Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, UK
BA (Hons) First Class, Natural Sciences (Zoology), 2007 – 2010
Prior to taking up my Shuttleworth Fellowship I was Programme Coordinator of the University of Cambridge Strategic Research Initiative in Synthetic Biology and the OpenPlant Synthetic Biology Research Centre (2015-2018).
I am co-founder and Director of two UK not-for-profit companies, Biomakespace (a community biology laboratory) and Beneficial Bio (a network of companies manufacturing open source reagents); and US nonprofit the Gathering for Open Science Hardware. Since July 2020 I chair the diagnostics subgroup of the UN Tech Access Partnership, an initiative founded by UN Technology Bank, WHO, UNDP and UNCTAD supporting tech transfer for local production of health technologies for COVID-19 in low and middle income countries.
Expertise and Interests:
Synthetic Biology; Biomanufacturing; Open Hardware; Open Science; Innovation Ecosystems; Circular Economy; Diagnostics; Local Manufacturing.