Tom Ellis

Principal Investigator

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I’m Tom, born and educated in the UK with a spell doing research in the USA too. I run the group which means overseeing all theses cool projects, coming up with exciting new ideas and answering way too many emails.

Fabio Liberante

Research Associate at The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

My background is in cancer cell biology, but my passion in genome engineering is what brought me to the Ellis lab. I now spend most of my time at the Sanger Institute in Cambridge helping set up an exciting new project in Synthetic Genomics. These days, when I’m not designing DNA I’m usually watching tutorials on how to write code.

Vivianne Goosens

Research Associate

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I’m a microbiologist interested in bacterial secretion systems. In the past I’ve worked on Tat in B. subtilis, made some Type IV pili in E. coli and am now playing with the cellulose making machine K. rhaeticus.



Research Associate

I’m focused on the development of efficient tools to create engineered living materials from K. rhaeticus biofilms in order to construct biological autonomous devices with future application in health and biotechnology.

Will Shaw

Research Associate

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Hey, I’m Will from Bristol. Over the past few years I have been working on refactoring yeast signalling pathways to create tuneable biosensors and cell-to-cell communication. I use cycling to escape the disappointment of failed experiments.

Glen Gowers

Graduate Student

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“Evolution is cleverer than you are” - F. Crick. With this self-deprecating mantra in mind I am using yeast genome rearrangements to fast-track evolution to optimise the production of therapeutic natural products. I also like sailing.

Marcus Walker

Graduate Student

Ok, I spent a lot of time on this small piece of text… Hi, I’m Marcus. In my PhD I am aiming to develop new tools to control bacterial cellulose production. Outside of the lab, I enjoy photography and being one of those pretentious people who still use film.

Amritpal Singh

Graduate Student joint with the Ledesma-Amaro Group

Hi! I‘m Amritpal from London. I’m a PhD student looking at engineering Acetobacter using synthetic biology to improve its industrial properties. I enjoy hijacking the metabolic process of bacterial systems to carry out my will. In my free time, I appreciate nature, collect antique arms and ponder the meaning of life.

Alicia Graham

Graduate Student joint with the Ledesma-Amaro Group

Whatever I can’t do, I try to make yeast cells do. And by that I mean: be as productive as possible! I’m Alicia, a PhD student working on metabolic engineering of Y. lipolytica to produce nutraceuticals. Outside of manipulating cells to obey me, I love doing anything related to food or travelling.

Lucie Studená

Graduate Student joint with the Ledesma-Amaro Group

I am Lucie and in my PhD project I use consortia of yeast and other exciting tools to produce medically relevant sesquiterpenoids. When not working, I enjoy anything outdoors (mountain expeditions, kayaking, caving), baking, acroyoga, improv, and way too many other activities

Anastasiya Malyshava

Graduate Student

Hi, I’m Anastasiya from Belarus. I'm a PhD student working on synthetic genomics. I will use genome engineering to reshape the yeast genome and to relocate several cell cycle genes together into new synthetic clusters. I believe this approach could shed light on why eukaryotic genomes don’t cluster their genes according to function. Outside the lab I enjoy dancing, drawing, playing violin and taking photos of everything aesthetically pleasing.

Xinyu (Jane) Lu

Graduate Student

Hi, I’m Xinyu (Jane). I’m a PhD student in this lab. I’m currently working on biocircuit design and construction. Maybe in the future, I’m going to do some research about regional defragmentation of yeast genome for preferable synthetic control. In my free time, I love traveling and playing flute.

Annalise Zouein

MRes student and PhD candidate joint with Francesca Ceroni's Group

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” I apply this in my daily life as a PhD student working on biosensing in blood cells towards new tools to remedy a deadly world. In my spare time I enjoy learning new crafts, cooking and travelling.

Casey Chen

MRes student

Hi, I'm Yue (Casey). I am a student in the MRes program Systems and Synthetic Biology. I am currently exploring the many aspects in yeast gene shuffling through wet-lab and dry-lab approaches. Outside the lab I am also trying to communicate with yeast by mixing them with flour and sending them into the oven.


  • Dr Benjamin Blount: Postdoc Hero and Beer Expert: Nov 2010 - Feb 2020

  • Fiachra Sweeny, MRes: Oct 2018 - Oct 2019

  • Dr Wolfgang Ott, DFG Fellow: Aug 2018 - Aug 2019

  • Dr Rodrigo Ledesma-Amaro, ICR Fellow: Aug 2017 - Aug 2019

  • Dr Linda Dekker Postdoc: Sep 2017 – Aug 2018

  • Dr Charlie Gilbert PhD (Bioeng): Oct 2014 – Jul 2018

  • Dr Olivier Borkowski Postdoc: Dec 2014 – Feb 2018

  • Dr Georgios Pothoulakis PhD (Bioeng): Oct 2012 – Aug 2017

  • Dr Vivek Senthivel (RA): Mar 2017 – Aug 2017

  • Dr Tim Weenink: PhD (Bioeng): Oct 2012 – Nov 2016

  • Alice Boo: BioEng MEng: Nov 2016 – Jun 2017

  • Rob McKiernan: Bioinformatician: Jan 2014 – Jan 2017

  • Dr Francesca Ceroni: Postdoc and ICL Research Fellow: Sep 2012 – Oct 2016

  • Dr Benjamin Reeve: PhD (Bioeng): Nov 2011 – Apr 2016

  • Sabine Wagner: visiting PhD (Munich): May 2016 – Sep 2016

  • Dr Dejana Jovicevic: PhD (Bioeng): Apr 2012 – Apr 2016

  • Robert Chen: Visiting Whitaker Fellow: Oct 2014 – Sep 2015

  • Hugo Villanueva: MRes Sys & Syn Bio: Feb 2015 – Sep 2015

  • Michael Florea: Biology BSc: Oct 2013 – Aug 2015

  • Dr Arturo Casini: PhD (LifeSci): Oct 2010 – Jun 2015

  • Dr Elena Martinez-Klimova: PhD (Bioeng): Jan 2011 – May 2015

  • Marios Koutsakos: MRes Sys & Syn Bio: Jan 2014 – Dec 2014

  • Marta Garcia Bellmunt: Technician: Mar 2013 – Nov 2014

  • Dr Ollie Wright: Postdoc Superstar: Aug 2012 – Dec 2013

  • Dr Rhys Algar: PhD (Bioeng): Oct 2010 – Oct 2013

  • Mihails Delmans: BioEng BEng Oct 2013 – Jun 2014

  • Isuru Goonatilake: BioEng MEng Oct 2013 – Jun 2014

  • Joshua Smit: MRes Sys & Syn Bio: Feb 2013 – Sep 2013

  • Joachim De Jonghe: BioEng Msc: Jan 2013 – Sep 2013

  • Henrik Hagemann, Bianca de Blasi, Jocelyne Holdbrook, Sophie Morse, Yutong Wu: BioEng BEng Oct 2013 – Jun 2014

  • Silvia Hernandez Arago, MRes: Oct 2019 - Oct 2019

  • Keith Kam: BioEng MEng: Oct 2018 - Aug 2019

  • William Beardall: BioEng MEng: Nov 2018 - Jun 2019

  • Niko McCarty: MRes Sys & Syn Bio: Feb 2018 – Sep 2018

  • Rachatida (Luke) Det-Udom: Visiting PhD & Newton Fellow: May 2017 – May 2018

  • Brooke Rothschild-Mancinelli: MRes Sys & Syn Bio & RA: Feb 2017 – Feb 2018

  • Jelle Van Der Hilst: MRes Sys & Syn Bio: Feb 2017 – Sep 2017

  • Akash Das: BioEng Msc: Dec 2016 – Sep 2017

  • Ariana Miano, Alex Leung, Francesco Guagliardo, Monika Zbytniewska, Sergi Fayos Villalta: BioEng BEng Oct 2016 – Jun 2017

  • Matthew Layton: BioEng MEng: Nov 2016 – Jun 2017

  • Dr Ali Awan: Postdoc and Fungal Wizard: Jul 2013 – Jan 2017

  • Maureen Driessen: Technician: Jun 2014 – Jan 2017

  • Dr Carlos Bricio Garberi: Postdoc and Music & Star Wars Guru: Jul 2014 – Sep 2016

  • Jack Ho: MRes Sys & Syn Bio: Feb 2016 – Sep 2016

  • Alicia Graham: ICL UROP student: Jun 2016 – Sep 2016

  • Michaela Murgiano: visiting MSc (Italy): Oct 2015 – Mar 2016

  • Simon Arsene: BioEng Msc: Dec 2014 – Sep 2015

  • Despoina Paschou: BioEng MEng: Nov 2014 – Jun 2015

  • Arinbjorn Kolbeinsson: BioEng MEng: Nov 2014 – Jun 2015

  • Thomas Hargest: BioEng Msc: Jan 2013 – Sep 2013

  • Nicolas Kylilis: MRes Sys & Syn Bio: Feb 2012 – Sep 2012

  • Anna Kress: Visit from Aachen University: Apr 2012 – Sep 2012

  • Piotr Fabr: BioEng MEng: Nov 2011 – June 2012

  • Yaksha Novicic: BioEng BEng:  Nov 2011 – June 2012

  • Jiayue (Nina) Zhu: BioEng BEng: Nov 2011 – June 2012

  • Fabio Chizzolini: visiting MSc (Italy) Sept 2010 – July 2011

  • Charles Fracchia: Biology BSc: May 2011 – July 2011

  • Hung Hsu: BioEng BEng: Nov 2010 – June 2011

  • Riham Satti: BioEng MEng: Nov 2010 – June 2011

  • Serge Vasylechko: BioEng MEng: Nov 2010 – June 2011


Tom Ellis - Professor of Synthetic Genome Engineering

Imperial College Centre for Synthetic Biology (IC-CSynB) and the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College, London

Phone: +44-20-7594-7615


Lab Address

609 Bessemer Building, Imperial College, London
South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, United Kingdom


Office Address

704 Bessemer Building, Imperial College, London
South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, United Kingdom