|Year ||Description |
|1998 ||Joined University of Edinburgh |
|1995 - 1998 ||Post-doctoral research associate, Institute of Biotechnology, University of Cambridge |
|1995 ||Ph.D., Institute of Biotechnology, University of Cambridge |
Institute of Cell Biology
- Origin and Diversity of Life 1: Diversity of microbial life.
- Microorganisms, Cells & Immunity 2: Biology of bacteria; microbial biotechnology.
- Biotechnology 3: Water microbiology, microbial production of bulk and fine chemicals, synthetic biology.
- Biotechnology 4, Enzymology & Biological Processing: Bioreactors and biological processes, biosensors, synthetic biology.
We are interested in synthetic biology, a new discipline at the interface of biology and engineering. With colleagues in the School of Engineering & Electronics, we are developing methods to engineer novel biological systems using modular 'parts' and standardized assembly methods. These can be applied to generate artificial genetic networks, in a process we call 'object-oriented genetics', and also to generate multiple variants of metabolic pathways, in a process we call 'combinatorial genetic engineering'. We are currently focusing on the following application areas:
- Development of biosensors for the detection of contaminants in the environment. For example, we have developed novel biosensors for the detection of arsenic in groundwater, a major public health issue in parts of Asia.
- Development of genetic modules for the efficient conversion of cellulosic biomass to useful products. Cellulosic biomass is abundant and renewable, but very difficult to degrade. We have generated various combinations of genes encoding biomass-degrading enzymes, which allow recombinant organisms to grow with cellulosic biomass as a source of carbon. These can be combined with other genetic modules which allow the formation of useful products such as biofuels and food ingredients.
In addition to these activities, our laboratory organizes the University of Edinburgh's entries in the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM: see http://igem.org/Main_Page). We have had considerable success, winning prizes for Best Real World Application (2006), Best Model (2010, 2011) and Best Human Practices Advance (2011).
- French, C.E., de Mora, K., Joshi, N., Haseloff, J., and Ajioka, J. 2012. Development of biosensors for the detection of arsenic in drinking water. Arsenic in the environment, ed. J. Santini, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, in the press.
- French, C.E., de Mora, K., Joshi, N., Elfick, A., Haseloff, J., and Ajioka, J. 2011. Synthetic biology and the art of bisoensor design. pp. 178-201 in The Science and Applications of Synthetic and Systems Biology, National Academies Press, Washington DC.
- French, C.E. and Gwenin, C. 2011. Biosensors in bioprocess monitoring and control. In Fermentation Microbiology and Biotechnology, 3rd edition, ed. El-Mansi, M., CRC Press, Boca Raton, in the press.
- de Mora, K., Joshi, N., Balint, B.L., Ward, F.B., Elfick, A. and French, C.E. 2011. A pH-based biosensor for detection of arsenic in drinking water. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 400, 1031-9.
- Schwarz-Linek, J., Dorken, G., Winkler, A., Wilson, L.G., Pham, N.T., French, C.E., Schilling, T., and Poon, W.C.K. 2010. Polymer-induced phase separation in suspensions of bacteria. Europhysics Letters 89, article 68003.
- Tota-Maharaj, K., Scholz, M., Ahmed, T., French, C., and Pagaling, E. 2010. The synergy of permeable pavements and geothermal heat pumps for stormwater treatment and reuse. Environmental Technology 31, 1517-1531.
- Joshi, N., Wang, X., Montgomery, L., Elfick, A., and French, C. 2010. Novel approaches to biosensors for detection of arsenic in drinking water. Desalination 248, 517-523.
- French, C.E. 2009. Synthetic biology and biomass conversion: a match made in heaven? Journal of the Royal Society Interface 6, Suppl 4, S547-S558, doi:10.1098/rsif.2008.0527.focus.
- Benitez, G.M., Gandia-Herrero, F., Graham, S., Larson, T.R., McQueen-Mason, S., French, C.E., Rylott, E., and Bruce, N.C. 2008. Engineering a catabolic pathway in plants for the degradation of 1,2-dichloroethane. Plant Physiology 147, 1192-1198.
- French, C.E., Bell, J.M.L., and Ward, F.B. 2008. Diversity and distribution of hemerythrin-like proteins in prokaryotes. FEMS Microbiology Letters 279, 131-145.
- Aleksic, J., F. Bizzari, Y.-Z. Cai, B. Davidson, K. de Mora, S. Ivakhno, S. Lalgudi Seshasayee, J. Nicholson, J. Wilson, A. Elfick, C. French, L. Kozma-Bognar, H.-W. Ma, and A. Millar. 2007. Development of a novel biosensor for the detection of arsenic in drinking water. IET Synthetic Biology 1:87-90.