University of Manchester

Eriko Takano – Professor of Synthetic Biology

Eriko has an internationally leading position in synthetic biology of antibiotic production and has worked extensively with Streptomyces coelicolor, the model organism of the major group of commercial antibiotic producers. She has been working in both industrial and academic research for 26 years. Areas of expertise of the Takano group include bioinformatics software development for designing natural products producers (e.g. antiSMASH, MultiGeneBlast); untargeted metabolomics for chassis engineering in Streptomyces; secondary metabolite biosynthesis pathway assembly; regulatory circuits engineering through signalling molecules; translational control using noncoding RNAs; biosynthetic pathway engineering; systems biology of the metabolic switch from primary to secondary metabolism.  Personal profile

Rainer Breitling – Professor of Systems Biology

Rainer has expertise in natural products, synthetic biology, and bioinformatics/modelling for systems biology and postgenomic research. Research interests of the Breitling group include the development of novel bioinformatics tools for the discovery of secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters in microbial genomes (including the highly popular and widely used antiSMASH software and MultiGeneBlast tool) and the statistical analysis of postgenomic datasets, such as metabolome and transcriptome profiles, for which we have developed a suite of computational tools, including mzMatch, RankProducts and Pep2Path. Another area of active research in the Breitling group is the computational design of microbial factories for antibiotics production by SynBio, which employs and develops a diversity of modelling approaches, ranging from ODE-based dynamic models to genome-scale constraint-based modelling.  Personal profile

Jane Gilsenan – TOPCAPI Project Manager

Jane has a post-doctoral research background in bioinformatics, specialising in fungal genome annotation and data management. From 2013 to 2016, Jane worked within the Manchester Fungal Infection Group project managing and contributing to research on the EC FP7 NOFUN project. From September 2016 to January 2018, she joined the Nanaomedicine Lab as the project manager, with part of her time covering management of the EPSRC 2D-Health project. In February 2018, Jane joined the Takano group as project manager for the TOPCAPI project. Personal Profile

Suhui Ye Huang – Post Doctoral Researcher

Suhui received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Master’s degree in Biomedicine and Molecular Biology from the University of Oviedo (Spain). She then received a fellowship to complete her PhD at the same University under the supervision of Dr. José A. Salas and Dr. Carmen Méndez. Her thesis work focused on the discovery of new natural products by using genome mining on Actinobacteria. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Eriko Takano’s group at the University of Manchester (UK), where she is focusing her attention on the creation of “microbial cell factories” to produce high-value pharmaceutical ingredients using advanced genetic engineering and metabolic approaches.

Francesco Del Carratore – Post Doctoral Researcher

Francesco received his Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and his Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cagliari (Italy). Francesco then completed his PhD at the University of Manchester under the supervision of Prof Rainer Breitling. His thesis focused on the development and implementation of novel computational tools for systems and synthetic biology. Currently, Francesco is working as a post-doctoral researcher in Prof Rainer Breitling group focusing on the processing and analysis of metabolomics data and on the building and analysis of different genome-scale metabolic models for the TOPCAPI project.

Kamila Schmidt – Research Technician

Kamila received her MSc in Biology from the University of Gdańsk (Poland). Then at the University of Salford (UK) she completed an MSc in Biotechnology and a PhD in Biochemistry. Her PhD project focused on the analysis of volatile organic compounds as metabolites produced by mammalian cells cultured in vitro by means of gas chromatography – mass spectrometry. Through her PhD, she gained experience in the development and optimisation of pre-concentration techniques, chromatographic separation and mass spectrometry methods. She is currently the research technician in Prof Eriko Takano’s group at the University of Manchester (UK). She is responsible for the untargeted metabolomic analysis using QExactive in the TOPCAPI project.

Marc Biarnes Carrera – Post Doctoral Researcher

Marc received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the Institut Quimic de Sarria (Universitat Ramon Llull, Barcelona, Spain) and a Master’s degree in Post-genomic Biology from the University of York (UK). He completed his PhD at the University of Manchester under the supervision of Prof. Eriko Takano. His thesis work focused on the development of the regulatory tools for synthetic biology based on the γ-butyrolactone system from Streptomyces. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher in Prof. Eriko Takano’s group at the University of Manchester (UK), where he is focusing on the optimisation in the production of high-value pharmaceutical ingredients.


Former members

Areti Tsigkinopoulou – Post Doctoral Researcher

Areti received an MEng in Chemical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens. Afterwards she completed an MSc in Drug Discovery and Translational Biology at the University of Edinburgh. Her PhD was completed at the University of Manchester under the supervision of Prof Rainer Breitling. Her research area was focused on the development of appropriate computational methods that will facilitate the application of ensemble modelling in the analysis computational models and the use of these methods to explore the elusive γ-butyrolactone regulatory system in Streptomyces coelicolor. Through her current position as a post-doctoral researcher in the Breitling group, she is building and analysing genome-scale models of the microbial organisms that are the focus of the TOPCAPI project.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 720793