Imperial College London

DrAliceBanks

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Research Associate (Synthetic Biology)
 
 
 
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Contact

 

a.banks

 
 
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Location

 

Sir Ernst Chain BuildingSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Summary

My PhD research, at the University of Bristol, was in the area of fungal genetics and molecular biology. During my studies, I isolated novel secondary metabolites from basidiomycete fungi and elucidated the genetic pathways underpinning biosynthesis. 

I then moved into the field of synthetic biology with a postdoctoral position at Newcastle University working on cell-free protein synthesis systems. In this work, I used Design of Experiments to explore the large and multifactorial design spaces associated with cell-free reactions, with the specific goal of optimising cell-free systems to embed within hydrogel matrices, to produce biologically-responsive materials. This technology has applications in rapidly prototyping genetic circuits and in the development of biological sensors and diagnostic devices.

I joined the Jimenez Group in 2020 to work as a postdoctoral researcher as part of the MIPLACE consortium. This research involved engineering environmentally-isolated bacteria and microbial communities to degrade and up-cycle polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for use as a microbial feedstock in the synthesis of products with added value. I am now part of the BIOSYSMO consortium employing a synthetic biology approach to the bioremediation of mixed pollutants in soils and ground water.

I am also involved in the supervision of undergraduate and MRes research projects, and I have taken part in iGEM as an advisor, supervisor and judge.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Kavil S, Laverick A, Whitfield CJ, et al., 2023, Methods for embedding cell-free protein synthesis reactions in macro-scale hydrogels, Journal of Visualized Experiments, ISSN:1940-087X, Pages:1-14

Dvorak P, Galvao TC, Pflueger-Grau K, et al., 2023, Water potential governs the effector specificity of the transcriptional regulator XylR of Pseudomonas putida, Environmental Microbiology, Vol:25, ISSN:1462-2912, Pages:1041-1054

Banks AM, Whitfield CJ, Brown SR, et al., 2022, Key reaction components affect the kinetics and performance robustness of cell-free protein synthesis reactions, Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal, Vol:20, ISSN:2001-0370, Pages:218-229

Whitfield CJ, Banks AM, Dura G, et al., 2020, Cell-free protein synthesis in hydrogel materials, Chemical Communications, Vol:56, ISSN:1359-7345, Pages:7108-7111

Banks AM, Song L, Challis GL, et al., 2020, Bovistol B, bovistol D and strossmayerin: Sesquiterpene metabolites from the culture filtrate of the basidiomycete Coprinopsis strossmayeri, PLOS One, Vol:15, ISSN:1932-6203, Pages:1-9

Banks AM, Aminuddin F, Williams K, et al., 2019, Genome sequence of lecanicillium fungicola 150-1, the causal agent of dry bubble disease, Microbiology Resource Announcements, Vol:8, ISSN:2576-098X, Pages:1-2

Banks AM, Barker GLA, Bailey AM, et al., 2017, Draft genome sequence of the coprinoid mushroom coprinopsis strossmayeri, Genome Announcements, Vol:5, ISSN:2169-8287, Pages:1-2

de Mattos-Shipley KMJ, Ford KL, Alberti F, et al., 2016, The good, the bad and the tasty: The many roles of mushrooms, Studies in Mycology, Vol:85, ISSN:0166-0616, Pages:125-157

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