Environment and Biotechnology
Professor of Engineering Science, University of Oxford
Professor of Biological Engineering, University of Oxford
Professor Thompson and Professor Huang specialise in developing technologies for preventing pollution, stimulating microbial clean-up of waste waters, and their biotransformation to high value chemicals such as bioplastics.
Professor of Organic Chemistry, University of Oxford
Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Oxford
Professor Wong and Professor Robertson specialise in the modification of enzymes so that they achieve chemical reactions that are difficult or impossible using conventional chemical reagents. These transformations are of potential importance to the industrial production of pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals.
Dr. Wang Yun/ Prof Wei Huang’s group
Dr. Wang focuses on biosensor-based synthetic biology and single cell Raman biotechnology at OSCAR, mainly applied in environmental bioremediation and medical diagnosis and therapy. Specifically, her research interests include discovery of novel genes from natural environment to be utilized as bio-bricks of synthetic biology and characterisation of stem cells, cancer cells and bacterial pathogens for personalised medicine.
Senior Research Scientist
Dr. Chun Kiat Ng (Calvin)/Prof. Ian Thompson’s Group
Dr. Chun Kiat Ng (Calvin) was a recipient of the Commonwealth Rutherford Fellowship and a visiting postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Oxford. He completed his Ph.D. training at the Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering and Nanyang Technological University where he worked on biofilm engineering and bio-nanotechnology towards environmental remediation and water purification. He gained extensive experience in microbial biotechnology, advance imaging and analytical techniques to study biofilm metabolism and the use of membrane technology to remove trace organic contaminant from water. He also developed a sustainable method of manipulating biofilm using nanomaterials to remove carcinogenic heavy metals in water. He published more than 10 peer-reviewed papers and a book chapter on biofilm biology and water purification, and he has the technical expertise and passion to understand, harness, and influence microbial biofilm communities towards environmental remediation.
Dr. Cao Yang/ Prof Luet Wong’s group
Dr. Cao joined Professor Luet Wong’s group in 2012 to work on engineering the cytochrome P450BM3 enzyme to oxidise organic molecules that are not substrates for the wild type enzyme. This research is aimed at the synthesis of complex natural compound and their derivatives via biotransformation and to develop sustainable and environmentally friendly production processes.
Dr. Avinash.Pandreka / Prof Luet Wong’s group
Avinash received his PhD in biological sciences from AcSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, India. His PhD work was focused on elucidating the biosynthesis of limonoids in neem and metabolic engineering in yeast. He joined in Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research in August 2019 as Research Scientist in Professor Luet Wong’s group. His research work is mainly focused on metabolic engineering of microbial acetyl CoA and isoprene unit biosynthesis to increase the production of terpenoids. Engineering of terpene synthases and cytochrome P450 systems to increase their efficiency and selectivity towards the terpenoid biosynthesis. His research interests include elucidating the diversity of secondary metabolites and their application.
Dr. Xiong Ziyue/Prof.Jeremy Robertson's group
Dr. Xiong joined the Prof. Jeremy Robertson group at OSCAR on Jan 2020. She obtained her PhD degree from Queen’s University Belfast with Prof. Karl J Hale (UK, 2017). Subsequently, she started a postdoctoral fellowship in Prof. Thomas Wirth group at Cardiff University (UK, 2017-2020). In OSCAR, she is working on the applications of C-H hydroxylating enzymes in a variety of synthetic chemistry, especially, the total synthesis of natural products. Her research interests include enzymatic organic synthesis, natural products synthesis, and organic electrochemistry.
Dr. Xinxin Zhang / Prof. Jeremy Robertson’s group
Xinxin Zhang joined OSCAR in March 2022 as a Research Scientist in Prof. Jeremy Robertson’s group. She is expected to receive her DPhil degree in 2022 from the University of Oxford. The focus during her DPhil study was on the usage of P450 mutants as general oxidation catalysts during target molecule synthesis. Her main focus here in OSCAR will be adopting P450 mutants for the oxidations of small molecules and their further functionalisation. Her work will involve the investigation of the P450-mediated oxidation profiles of spirocycles and the building of a functionalised molecule library alongside with her co-workers.
Ji Mengmeng / Prof Ian Thompson and Prof Wei Huang’s group
Ji Mengmeng’s research interests are development of environmental biotechnology, construction and test of biosensors, and improvement and application of single cell genomic analysis in OSCAR. Meanwhile, she is responsible for equipment/consumable purchasing and daily maintenance of the environmental biotechnology and synthetic biology lab.
Yu Gao/Prof. Ian Thompson’s group
Yu Gao joined OSCAR on September 1st, 2021, as a Research Technician in Prof. Ian Thompson’s group. In 2020, he graduated from Wuhan Institute of Technology with a master’s degree in Engineering. During his master's study, he was engaged in the preparation of carbon nanomaterials as the anode materials for microbial fuel cells using biomass waste as a precursor, converting chemical energy in wastewater into electrical energy by use of microorganisms.
Yu Gao has one year’s industry experience in membrane biotechnology. He joined OriginWater membrane company as a research and development project leader in 2020. There, he participated in the development of a new electrochemical method for sterilization and disinfection to improve the safety of drinking water. He also gained mastery of the basic operations of bacteria cultivation and counting.
Haiyan Song / Prof. Ian Thompson’s group
Haiyan Song joined OSCAR in July 2022 as a Research Technician in Prof. Ian Thompson’s group. She achieved her master’s degree in 2022 at the University of Science and Technology Beijing. During her master's degree, she focused on the preparation of microbial, molecular biological and biocatalysts for catalysis and regeneration. At OSCAR, Haiyan Song will be working on research related to the biological treatment of wastewater.
Research interests: Molecular diagnostics; cancer early detection; biosensor application.
Linxue Feng joined OSCAR on July 1st as a Research Assistant in Prof. Luet Wong’s group after receiving her master’s degree in sugar engineering from Jiangnan University. During her graduate years, Linxue studied biocatalyst based on molecular biology.
Research Assistant in Prof. Jeremy Robertson’s group
Xiaoning Zhang joined OSCAR in May 2022 as a Research Assistant in Organic Synthesis in Prof. Jeremy Robertson’s group. She obtained her master’s degree in 2018 from Hebei University of Technology. She was previously engaged in FDA registration of medical devices and research into organic synthesis catalyzed by transition metals. At OSCAR, she will work with research scientists on the selective oxidation of organic compounds using engineered variants of cytochrome P450 enzymes. The research finds applications in the synthesis of high-value intermediates and active ingredients for the agrochemical and pharmaceutical industries.
Xia Baolong has 15 years of chemical lab work experience. In chemical method analysis and research, laboratory management, the use and maintenance of various equipment, laboratory consumable and reagents procurement have a wealth of experience. He will be actively involved in supporting the research and development team.