Dr Joanna Sadler

BBSRC Discovery Fellow in Biotechnology



(2022                  Chancellor's Fellow, University of Edinburgh)

2019-2022        BBSRC Discovery Fellow, University of Edinburgh

2018                    Postdoctoral Research Assistant, University of St Andrews

2017                    Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, University of Manchester



2017        D. Phil, Organic Chemistry and Biocatalysis, University of Strathclyde/GlaxoSmithKline Collaborative PhD Programme

2013        MSci, Chemistry with a Year in Industry, University of Bristol 

Responsibilities & affiliations

Founder and Director of Leaders in Science (www.leadersinscience.co.uk)

EUSynBioS Steering Committee Member

Research summary

Plastic degradation and up-cycling  *  Microbial pathway engineering  *  Sustainable chemical synthesis  *  Biocompatible chemistry  *  Waste valorisation  *  Directed evolution and adaptive evolution   *  Biocatalysis

Current research interests

Plastics are deeply embedded in modern day society, yet their current lifecycle is unsustainable. These recalcitrant materials are derived from finite, fossil fuel based resources and are largely used for single-use products which contribute to the plastic pollution crisis. I am interested in using synthetic biology blended with synthetic chemistry to develop industrially relevant methods to valorise plastic waste into high value small molecules. Not only will this remove waste plastic from circulation, but will enables sustainable routes to bulk and fine chemicals which are otherwise derived directly from petrochemical feedstocks. My research in this field can be broadly broken down into three main objectives: (1) novel plastic up-cycling pathways, (2) biocompatible plastic degradation technologies, (3) using plastic waste as a feedstock for microbial growth.

View all 17 publications on Research Explorer