People

Dr Jose Jiménez (Group leader)

Dr. Jose Jiménez is a molecular biologist that earned his Ph.D. in environmental microbiology in 2006 working for Spanish Research Council (CIB-CSIC). After that he moved into systems and synthetic biology of bacteria in postdoctoral stays in the National Center for Biotechnology (CSIC; Spain), Harvard University (USA) as a Fellow for the Foundational Questions in Evolutionary Biology program and the Synthetic Biology Center at MIT (USA). Jose was appointed as Lecturer in Synthetic Biology in 2014 at the University of Surrey and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2018.

Dr Jose Jiménez (Group leader)

Dr. Jose Jiménez is a molecular biologist that earned his Ph.D. in environmental microbiology in 2006 working for Spanish Research Council (CIB-CSIC). After that he moved into systems and synthetic biology of bacteria in postdoctoral stays in the National Center for Biotechnology (CSIC; Spain), Harvard University (USA) as a Fellow for the Foundational Questions in Evolutionary Biology program and the Synthetic Biology Center at MIT (USA). Jose was appointed as Lecturer in Synthetic Biology in 2014 at the University of Surrey and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2018.

Dr Helen King

(lab manager)

Dr Helen King is one of our two laboratory managers for the Systems Biology Section. Her background is in molecular biology, specifically RNA biology, and her PhD focused on the role of protein factors in the control of a specific form of RNA translation initiation during programmed cell death in mammalian cells.

Dr Mandy Fivian-Hughes

(lab manager)

Dr Amanda Fivian-Hughes (known as Mandy) is one of our two laboratory managers for the Systems Biology Section. Mandy’s expertise lies in bacterial physiology and genetics. She gained her PhD in Microbial Genomics from the MRC National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR, now part of the Francis Crick Institute, London) in 2009.

Her PhD focused on transcriptional regulation within Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis. Mandy then undertook three post-doctoral roles working on: thymidine synthesis in M. tuberculosis at MRC NIMR; a phase variable cell wall protein of Clostridium difficile at Imperial College London; and antimicrobial resistance gene transfer from E. coli within bioreactor models at University of Surrey. Mandy also has experience working within a hospital microbiology diagnostic laboratory, commercial food and water testing microbiology laboratories, and an industrial fermentation research laboratory, and as such brings a wide breath of knowledge to the Systems Biology section.

Miss Kate Reid

(lab technician)

Miss Kate Reid is our laboratory technician in the Systems Biology Section. She has a Masters degree in Forensic Genetics from the University of Cape Town. Her research focused on the generation of Y-chromosome DNA profiles for the South African population, in hopes that it will assist in the identification of human remains.

Edeline D’Souza

(PhD candidate)

Edeline is a biologist in the Quantum Biology DTC at the University of Surrey, which is focused on investigating non-trivial quantum effects in biological processes, and is funded by the Leverhulme Trust.  Edeline is interested in the understanding of the role of quantum behaviour in cryptochromes, the protein involved in magnetoreception and navigation, both from fundamental and applied viewpoints. She is carrying out part of her research in the National Physical Laboratory under the supervision of Dr Alex Jones

Eveliny Nery

(PhD candidate)

Eveliny is a member of the CDT in Quantum Bioengineering at Surrey. Eve got interested in unconventional microbes during her MSc in the Centro de Biologia Molecular Severo Ochoa in Madrid, supervised by Prof. Ricardo Amils, in which she isolated bacteria from extreme environments. Eveliny is studying the potential role of coherence in the energy transfer of the photosynthetic antenna present in purple proteobacteria.

Joanne Benton

(Project manager)

Dr Joanne Benton is the project manager for MIPLACE (Microbial Integration of Plastics in the Circular Economy).  Her background is in Plant Physiology and Crop Protection and she gained her PhD from The Nottingham Trent University.  She then coordinated an international research programme investigating the effects of ozone pollution on crops and natural vegetation at the same university.  Following this, she became the business manager for a sustainable living consultancy based in London.

Alice Banks

(Postdoctoral researcher)

Dr Alice Banks is a research fellow in synthetic biology working on the MIPLACE project for microbial integration of plastics in the circular economy. Her research focusses on engineering microbial communities using polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyurethane (PU) as feedstock. She completed her PhD in fungal molecular biology at the University of Bristol and then moved to work as a postdoctoral research associate at Newcastle University investigating cell-free protein synthesis systems.

Umar Abdulmutalib

(PhD candidate)

Umar is conducting a PhD project engineering bacterial strains and processes for the effective conversion of PET waste into a growth substrate for biotechnological applications. This research is sponsored by the Nigerian Petroleum Technology Development Fund.

Former members
  • Dr Jaime Gonzalez (now postdoctoral fellow at IBBC – Universidad de Cantabria; Spain)
  • Dr. Juhyun Kim (now postdoctoral fellow at Imperial College London)
  • Dr Alex Smith (now postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge)
  • Dr Manuel Salvador (now project manager at Idener SL)
  • Dr Maria Getino (now postdoctoral fellow at the Veterinary School in Surrey)
  • Dr Elizabeth Saunders (now at BBSRC)