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Overall Research Interests:

My aim is to be a leader in harnessing the enormous power of Synthetic Biology approaches and technologies to tackle the many enormous crises facing the planet. I believe that we are now on the cusp of developing biotechnologies that can solve issues such as food and energy provision for a growing global population, and the related problems of unsustainable production and use of fertilisers, and catastrophic greenhouse gas emissions. It is my vision and goal to contribute to a sustainable industrial revolution, where waste is viewed as a valuable commodity, and thus converted through synthetic biology, into value products at high yields and in commercially-attractive processes.


I am very keen to collaborate with companies on ways to engineer organisms for the reliable scaling-up of bioproduction, as well as companies interested in developing novel antimicrobial approaches using Synthetic Biology. Please get in touch at

Students and Visiting Researchers:

I am always open to hosting undergraduate students for summer placements and visiting researchers for short-term collaborative projects. Studentships are available that we can apply for to host you, but please get in touch as early as possible. Please get in touch at

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Hanessian-Hullar reaction in the synthesis of highly substituted trans-3,4-dihydroxypyrrolidines: Rhamnulose iminosugar mimics inhibit alpha-glucosidase, Liu, Z., Yoshihara, A., Jenkinson, S., Wormald, M., Kelly, C., Heap, J., Marqvorsen, M., Estévez, R., Fleet, G., Nakagawa, S., Izumori, K., Nash, R., Kato, A. 3 Jan 2020, In: Tetrahedron
  • In situ characterisation and manipulation of biological systems with Chi.Bio, Steel, H., Habgood, R., Kelly, C., Papachristodoulou, A. 30 Jul 2020, In: PLoS Biology
  • Degrading an enzyme to increase its product: A novel approach to decoupling biosynthesis and growth, Kelly, C. Jan 2019, In: Synthetic Biology
  • Transcriptional Terminators Allow Leak-Free Chromosomal Integration of Genetic Constructs in Cyanobacteria, Kelly, C., Taylor, G., Heap, J., Dekker, L., Satsuke, A. 16 Aug 2019, In: Microorganisms
  • A Rhamnose-Inducible System for Precise and Temporal Control of Gene Expression in Cyanobacteria, Kelly, C., Taylor, G., Hitchcock, A., Torres-Méndez, A., Heap, J. 20 Apr 2018, In: ACS Synthetic Biology
  • Review of NAD(P)H-dependent oxidoreductases: Properties, engineering and application, Sellés Vidal, L., Kelly, C., Mordaka, P., Heap, J. Feb 2018, In: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Proteins and Proteomics
  • Synthetic negative feedback circuits using engineered small RNAs, Kelly, C., Harris, A., Steel, H., Hancock, E., Heap, J., Papachristodoulou, A. 12 Oct 2018, In: Nucleic Acids Research
  • The Autorepressor: a Case Study of the Importance of Model Selection, Harris, A., Kelly, C., Steel, H., Papachristodoulou, A. 23 Jan 2018, 56th IEEE Annual Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2017
  • Expanding the substrates for a bacterial hydrogenlyase reaction, Lamont, C., Kelly, C., Pinske, C., Buchanan, G., Palmer, T., Sargent, F. 1 May 2017, In: Microbiology
  • Frequency domain analysis of small non-coding RNAs shows summing junction-like behaviour, Steel, H., Harris, A., Hancock, E., Kelly, C., Papachristodoulou, A. 15 Dec 2017, 2017 IEEE 56th Annual Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2017, Piscataway, NJ, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.

  • Drew Thomson Engineered synthetic bacterial membrane microdomains for efficient biofuel production Start Date: 01/10/2022
  • Emma Riley Predicting the effects of increasing soil temperature on beneficial plant symbiont and plant pathogens through synthetic biology Start Date: 01/10/2020

Molecular Biology PhD December 07 2013

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