Membrane Transporters for Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy

1-difficultdanThe Funding

Dr Laurence Humphrey is an early career scientist, with 7 years academic and industrial research experience in microbial genetics, synthetic biology and metabolic engineering. He most recently worked at ReBio Technologies, where he was involved in engineering microorganisms that transform renewable feedstocks or industrial by-products into high value biofuels and biochemicals.

As a CBMNet member, Laurence Humphrey applied for funding to attend the Microbiology Society CBMNet sponsored event ‘Membrane Transporters for Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (IBBE). The funding covered the cost of Laurence’s accommodation, event registration and travel.

transport_protein3The Event

The CBMNet Membrane Transporters for Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy event took place in Liverpool, 20th – 22nd March, 2016. It consisted of a 1.5 day session with talks from academia and industry, as part of the Microbiology Society’s Annual Conference, followed by a half day workshop aimed at developing new collaborations between delegates to go on and apply for funding opportunities.

Dr Humphrey unfortunately was made redundant just before the event. Therefore, he saw this event not only as a chance to update his scientific knowledge of the role transporters play in IBBE, but also to network with key academics and industrialists working in the field.

The Outcomes

Laurence Humphrey Rebio“Before attending this meeting I think it’s fair to say that myself and my colleagues at ReBio less often considered membrane transporters when attempting biosynthesis of novel compounds, focusing more on carbon flux and metabolic pathways.  Attending this meeting alerted me to the processes used by other companies in similar positions, as well academic developments.

If I were still in an industry position I would’ve no doubt left the meeting with an increased focus on the importance of engineering membrane transporters and would also be keen to reach out to academics for potential collaboration.  If I continue my career in industry I think this is something that will remain true”

The Future

“Personally, I most benefited from the opportunities to network with academic and industry professionals, particularly during the coffee breaks and at the CBMNet organised dinner. As a result of the CBMNet ECR grant I have new contacts at 4 industrial biotechnology organisations that may have career opportunities for me in the next 12 months. The networking opportunities also gave me an opportunity to gain new perspectives on industrial biotechnology from different positions and companies in the UK as well as abroad.”