Penicillium performance enhancement - GlaxoSmithKline and the University of Edinburgh

Dr Matt Edmundson is taking strides to improve the performance of penicillin antibiotics in a collaborative project between Dr Louise Horsfall at Edinburgh University and GlaxoSmithKline. Matt has been at the University of Edinburgh for around 6 years and has worked on a number of projects during this time, including the bioremediation of metals from environmental contamination and co-products of the whisky industry, using bacteria to convert the metals into high value nanoparticles. Matt’s background is in molecular biology and he has an undergraduate degree in genetics with a PhD in biochemistry.

Before moving to Edinburgh to work with Dr Horsfall, Matt was at Cardiff University, where he worked on incorporating artificial amino acids into proteins using re-coded codons with Dr Dafydd Jones, and investigating the response of mammalian epithelium cells to changes in an electrical field with Prof Bing Song.

Matt enjoys the direct applications of the industrial projects he has worked on and has a good working relationship with GSK. Matt has visited GSK as part of this project and thought it was a good experience to see their large-scale fermentations and get an idea how things are done outside an academic lab. The team have monthly meetings with the company and GSK are pleased with the work Matt has completed so far. Matt is well supported by Dr Horsfall and the GSK team and even when there are issues, they give Matt the space to work.

Matt is not sure exactly what the future holds, but he would like to stay close to the lab. He would consider a move into industry and has been working to gaining an Edinburgh Teaching Award. Dr Horsfall has many industrial links and is supportive of Matt and his career choices. Matt says he just wants to keep doing high quality science, whether in academia or in the private sector.