Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Chemical Engineering








510AACE ExtensionSouth Kensington Campus





Dr Francesca Ceroni is a Lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering. She has track record in synthetic biology, being author of publications in synthetic biology including works in Nature Methods. She has been judge for the famous iGEM competition and supervisor of iGEM teams for 3 consecutive years, winning 2 gold medals and a special prize. 

Her research focuses now on bacterial and mammalian Synthetic Biology towards biomedical applications and bioproduction.

Francesca`s research publications can be found at Google Scholar

Francesca`s personal Linkedin and Twitter web page 


Dr Francesca Ceroni graduated in Pharmaceutical Biotechnologies from the University of Bologna, Italy, in 2007. She then obtained a PhD in Bioengineering from the same university in 2011. Her thesis examined the development of synthetic genetic devices in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells for the control of cell functions. In particular, she was interested in deepening the feasibility of a bottom-up approach in the design of synthetic circuits.

In 2010, she was Visiting Research Fellow in the Laboratory of Prof. Pam Silver, in the Department of Systems Biology at the Harvard Medical School of Boston, USA. She worked together with Dr. Karmella Haynes to build a synthetic device for real-time detection of microRNAs in cancer cells at a single cell level.

In January 2013 Francesca joined Imperial College London as Research Associate in Synthetic Biology in the groups of Dr. Tom Ellis and Dr. Guy-Bart Stan. Her work aimed at examining the causes of physiological burden in Escherichia coli when transformed with foreign genetic devices in order to identify design rules for future synthetic systems. 

In 2016 Francesca was awarded the prestigious Junior Research Fellowship of Imperial College London to deepen her interests in mammalian cell physiology for synthetic biology applications.

Since October 2018 she is a Lecturer in the Department of Chemical engineering.





Nikolados E, Weisse A, Ceroni F, et al., 2019, Growth defects and loss-of-function in synthetic gene circuits, Acs Synthetic Biology, Vol:8, ISSN:2161-5063, Pages:1231-1240

Ceroni F, Ellis T, 2018, The challenges facing synthetic biology in eukaryotes, Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, Vol:19, ISSN:1471-0072, Pages:481-482

Enrico Bena C, Grob A, Isalan M, et al., 2018, Commentary: Synthetic Addiction Extends the Productive Life Time of Engineered Escherichia coli Populations, Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, Vol:6, ISSN:2296-4185

Ceroni F, Boo A, Furini S, et al., 2018, Burden-driven feedback control of gene expression, Nature Methods, Vol:15, ISSN:1548-7091, Pages:387-393

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