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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S020705/1
Title: Engineering Microbial Consortia for Industry
Principal Investigator: Pandhal, Dr J
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemical & Biological Engineering
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Overseas Travel Grants (OTGS)
Starts: 01 December 2018 Ends: 31 May 2019 Value (£): 18,443
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Synthetic biology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Microbial communities inhabit our entire planet and play a vital role in biogeochemical processes through to human health. Although we have exploited these consortia for a variety of biotechnology processes, rapid technological advances have led to the emerging field of 'microbiome engineering', ripe for exploitation across a plethora of industries, and play a major role in facing grand challenges in health, food, energy and environment. This travel grant is focussed on translating knowledge of natural microbial diversity data, and combining this with expertise in microfluidic screening platforms, quantitative omics technologies and mathematical models to describe mixed-culture interactions for generating synthetic microbial consortia for industry.

Our previous work has revealed fundamental mechanisms by which microbes work together and we have translated this for industry at pilot scale. However, we have also encountered many unknowns to advance the field into more complex systems, particularly where we can recover multiple resources from waste, rather than just detoxify it.

To enable us to move into more design led approaches for constructing microbial communities, I have identified global leaders in their field, and the goal is to exchange knowledge and data and generate new exciting and ambitious grant proposals in engineering microbial consortia for industry.

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Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk