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Gill Stephens

Professor of Bioprocess Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

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Biography

Gill Stephens is part of the Bioprocess, Environmental and Chemical Technologies Research Group.

Expertise Summary

Gill's main research interest is in using cells and enzymes as biocatalysts to manufacture chemicals. Gill graduated with a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Kent, and a PhD on microbial metabolism from the University of Warwick. She did postdoctoral research on the acetone-butanol fermentation with Professor Gareth Morris FRS at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and then she worked on oxygenase-catalysed biotransformations with Professor Sir Howard Dalton FRS, at the University of Warwick. Gill then joined the Department of Chemical Engineering, UMIST in 1988 (now part of the University of Manchester), and established a research group working on biotransformations using anaerobic bacteria. She was seconded for 3 years as Research Director of Pro-Bio Faraday Partnership from 2001-4. She joined the University of Nottingham in 2010 as Chair of Bioprocessing and BBSRC Research Development Fellow.

Research Summary

Gill works on biocatalytic methods to produce chemicals, primarily from renewable feedstocks. Current applications-focussed projects include:

  • Metabolic engineering to produce bulk chemicals and monomers from renewable feedstocks
  • Overcoming product inhibition in microbial processes
  • Continuous bioprocesses for chemicals manufacturing
  • Bioproduction of methylmethacrylate

Gill's research is sponsored by BBSRC, EPSRC, iUK and industry.

Selected Publications

Future Research

Research grants since 2010

1. ConBioChem: Continuous bio-production of commodity chemicals. BBSRC IB Catalyst BB/N023773/1. Total grant £3.46M, UoN share £1,576,296. Led by GS, UoN, with Jon McKechnie (CoI), and with UCL and Cambridge. Industry contributions from Lucite, Ingenza, GBL, Chain Biotech, and CPI. 1.9.16-31.8.21.

DeTOX - Productive whole cell biocatalysis by engineering resistance to toxic products and substrates. BBSRC IB Catalyst BB/N010426/1. Total grant £3.1M, UoN share £952,658 (GS is UoN PI) with Universities of York (lead), Sheffield and Cambridge, with Industry contributions from Lucite, Ingenza, GBL, ReBio, CPI. 1.4.16-31.3.21

2. Integr-Algal. BBSRC IB Catalyst, BB/M028542/1. Total grant £249447, UoN share £124,998 (GS is UoN PI) with Algaecytes (lead) 1.12.15-30.11.16

3. Effect of oxygen availability on export of citramalate by Escherichia coli. CBMNet, £21,320; Lucite £2,500. PI. 1.5.15-30.11.15

4. Integrated catalytic processing of lignin. LBNet £37,427. PI with Universities of York, Cardiff, St Andrews and Biome Bioplastics. 1.7.15 - 31.10.15

5. P2P: Pentoses to products. iUK/BBSRC, BB/L011492/1. Total grant £375999, UoN share £104996 (GS is UoN PI) with Ingenza (lead) and Lucite (CoI). 1.4.15 - 31.3.15

6. Improving the carbon efficiency in the bio-production of citramalic acid. Lucite International £30,000. PI, with CoI Steve Hall. 1.10.14 - 30.9.17

7. High productivity homofermentative process for butanol (HIPHOP). TSB/BBSRC. Total grant £358005, UoN share £213586 (GS is UoN PI) with Green Biologics (lead) and Anna Croft (UoN CoI). 1.11.13-1.5.15

8. Toxicity of [compounds].* Invista Intermediates £164675. PI. 1.10.12-31.9.13

9. Bioperspex? Directed evolution of [enzyme A]* to catalyse methacrylic acid formation. Lucite International £42,700. PI, with CoI Pete Licence. 1.10.11-30.9.15

10. Bio-perspex? Directed evolution of [enzyme B]* to catalyse methacrylic acid formation. Lucite International £35,000. PI, with CoI Pete Licence 1.10.11-31.12.15

11. Bio-perspex? Production of methacrylic acid by combined bio- and chemo-catalytic processing. BBSRC Industrial CASE £91,932. PI, with CoI David Archer. 1.10.11-30.9.15

12. Production of methacrylic acid by combined bio- and chemo-catalytic processing Lucite International £40,000. PI, with CoI David Archer. 1.10.11-30.9.15

13. Bio-perspex? Solving the problem of product toxicity in bioprocesses to produce methacrylic acid from renewable feedstocks. CIKTN/EPSRC £69,121. PI, with CoI Pete Licence. 1.10.12-31.3.16

14. Solving the problem of product toxicity in bioprocesses to produce methacrylic acid from renewable feedstocks. Lucite International £35,000. PI, with CoI Pete Licence. 1.10.12-31.3.16

15. Depolymerisation of lignin using enzymes: flow reactors to keep the enzyme active and the lignin accessible. BBSRC IBTI Club £92,173. PI. 1.10.12-30.9.16

16. Production of [compound]* by fermentation. Lucite International £30000. PI. 1.7.11-31.1.12

17. BBSRC Research Development Fellowship. Towards biorefineries based on wastes: efficient enzymatic lignin degradation. BBSRC £189,468. PI. 16/9/09-15/9/12

Faculty of Engineering

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD



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