Lab members

Nicola Patron
Group Leader

Nicola Patron is the Engineering Plant Biology group leader. Nicola has a PhD in plant molecular biology and pursued postdoctoral research at The John Innes Centre and The University of British Columbia. Outside of the lab, Nicola enjoys a range of outdoor activities and mountain sports, travel and photography.


PhD Studentship: Design Principles for Synthetic Gene Regulation
Funding: Norwich  Research Park Doctoral Training Partnership
This project aims to identify and characterise conserved plant cis-regulatory elements. It will employ a synthetic biology approach, using comparative analyses of genomic datasets to inform iterative ‘design-build-test-learn’ engineering cycles. These will test hypotheses on the relationship between sequence and function and develop minimal synthetic regulatory elements for use in plant biotechnology. The student will acquire skills in bioinformatics, comparative genomics and molecular biology.


Yaomin Cai, 2017-
Postdoctoral Scientist
Rational Design of Plant Gene Regulation
Funded by the Earlham Institute Core Strategic Program Grant BB/CSP17270/1

Quentin Dudley, 2017-
Postdoctoral Scientist
An improved bioproduction system for proteins and small molecules (collaboration with the O’Connor Laboratory)
Funded by BBSRC Award BB/P010490/1

Oleg Raitskin, 2016-
Open Plant Postdoctoral Scientist
Genome Engineering in Plants
Funded by BBSRC/EPSRC OpenPlant Award BB/L014130/1

Sharon Mithoe, 2017 – 
Visiting Scientist
Engineering novel proteins

Ting Yang, 2017 – 
Visiting Scientist, University of Copenhagen
Genome Engineering in Plants


Amanda Salzman,  2017
MSc. Student
Controlling Relative Gene Expression with Tuneable, Orthologous, Regulatory Elements & Boolean Logic

Nathalia Volpi e Silva, 2016-2017
Genome Engineering to Elucidate Carbon Flux in the Lignin Biosynthetic Pathway

Anthony West,  2017
Automation Specialist
High-throughput, Automated DNA Assembly at Nanoscales