About Us


Prof. Gary Black BSc PhD

Technical Director

BSc (Hons) in Applied Biology (1988)
PhD in Molecular Biology/Biochemistry (1992), CNAA

Research and Development Interests:
expression of recombinant enzymes in Escherichia coli & Pichia pastoris and their biochemical and structural characterisation
proteomic and metabolomic analysis of prokaryoates
analysis of recombinant protein heterogeneity
I am interested in the use of genomic and metagenomic data to discover novel enzyme specificities and activities, and the subsequent use of mutagenesis methods for optimization. I have expertise in a number of different enzyme groups including nitrile active enzymes, carbonyl reductases, carbohydrate active enzymes, and cytochrome P450s. My group uses a pair of Thermo Q-Exactives to perform proteomic and metabolomic analyses to follow the biochemistry of model organisms.



Prof Justin Perry BA MA PhD

Commercial Director

BA. MA (Cantab) in Natural Sciences (1990), Part II in Chemistry
PhD (Trinity College, Dublin) (1995) in synthetic and analytical chemistry

Research and Development Interests


Dr Meng Zhang BSc MSc PhD MBA

R&D Manager

BSc(Hons) in Biotechnology (1997-2001) from Shandong Agriculture University, China, with a half year research project at Shandong Academy of Agricultural Science.

MSc in Health, Environment and Development from Sunderland University.

PhD in molecular biology and proteomics (2007), Northumbria University

MBA (2010), Northumbria University

Research and Development Interests

  • Biocatalysis: the expression of recombinant enzymes in Escherichia coli ¬†and Pichia pastoris, and their biochemical and structural characterisation
  • Synthetic Biology for the Built Environment: how to bridge the scales between molecular level design to the design of materials and systems for the construction of the human built environment using synthetic biology, architectural design and civil engineering.
  • Proteomics: from method development to the study of heterogeneity of recombinant proteins expressed in E. coli