My research is in the field of synthetic biology, and involves the design and construction of genetic systems that introduce new capabilities to microoganisms.
One of the main themes of my work is electrical communication between bacteria and physical electronic circuitry. My interest in this area began during my PhD studies at the University of Cambridge, which were devoted to understanding the molecular basis for electron export from cyanobacteria (photosynthetic bacteria), so that these processes might be exploited for the creation of biological solar panels. In addition to electrical power production, electrical signalling could be used as a way to communicate with biological sensors.
This work has recently been extended to the purple bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris, which possesses many interesting and industrially relevant capabilities. I am developing genetic tools in order to engineer this bacterium for biotechnological applications, including enhancing its capacity for electrosynthesis (using supplied electrical current to produce useful chemicals).
I am also working on designer biological signal-processing systems which allow us to effectively program the response of a cell to their environment or metabolic state. These decision-making systems are useful in many kinds of biotechnological applications, including biological sensors and microbe-based production of useful chemicals (such as biofuels or drug precursors).
I supervise undergraduate and MRes lab-based projects, as well as summer lab placements, and welcome any questions about my research.
Bradley R, 2019, Bio-electrical engineering: A promising frontier for synthetic biology, Biochemist, Vol:41, ISSN:0954-982X, Pages:10-13
Bradley RW, Buck M, Wang B, 2016, Recognizing and engineering digital-like logic gates and switches in gene regulatory networks, Current Opinion in Microbiology, Vol:33, ISSN:1879-0364, Pages:74-82
Bradley RW, Buck M, Wang B, 2015, Tools and principles for microbial gene circuit engineering., Journal of Molecular Biology, Vol:428, ISSN:1089-8638, Pages:862-888
Bradley R, Wang B, 2015, Designer cell signal processing circuits for biotechnology, New Biotechnology, ISSN:1871-6784
et al., 2015, Biophotovoltaics: oxygenic photosynthetic organisms in the world of bioelectrochemical systems, Energy & Environmental Science, Vol:8, ISSN:1754-5692, Pages:1092-1109