University of York

Maggie Smith – Professor of Microbiology

Maggie is the Professor of Microbiology at the University of York and has developed an international reputation as an expert on the mechanism and application of phage-encoded serine integrases. Her lab was the first to describe the biochemical properties of this class of phage integrase and since then researchers worldwide have been using these enzymes for genome engineering. The Smith lab have been using integrases in vivo and in vitro to assemble antibiotic pathways in Streptomyces. This work will not only facilitate cloning of the whole pathways into heterologous Streptomyces hosts but is also enabling more streamline approaches to boost expression and combinatorial biochemistry for rational modification of products.  Personal profile.


Gavin Thomas – Reader in Molecular Biology

Gavin is a microbiologist based at the University of York since 2002 and has worked for over a decade on bacterial transport systems. His research, primarily funded by the BBSRC, has revealed fundamental information about an important class of bacterial transporters called TRAP transporters, particular in the context of their function in human pathogens, but more recently for biotechnology and bioenergy through work with Green Biologics and Unilever. He brings his extensive knowledge of bacterial physiology, metabolic modelling and membrane transporters to the TOPCAPI Project. Personal profile.



Emmanuele Severi – Post Doctoral Researcher

Emmanuele is a Post Doctoral researcher with an extensive experience in synthetic biology of prokaryotes. He has worked both in academic and industrial settings in the elucidation of a range of metabolic pathways, especially in the context of strain engineering and improvement. Having studied Gram-negative organisms and related phage for a decade, he has recently developed a keen interest in the molecular genetics of natural products from actinobacteria, which he has pursued through an EPSRC-funded position in York on the identification and characterisation of novel antibiotics. He looks forward to applying his synthetic biology skills to the TOPCAPI project.


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