Emma Watts

emma watts profile edited

Lorna Cassleton Memorial Scholarship

Joining us from: Japan/UK

iCASE Interdisciplinary Bioscience (BBSRC DTP) (2022)

I’ve pursued a DPhil to explore my research area of interest, the intersection of synthetic biology and the circular economy. Having completed a BSc Hons in Biotechnology at the University of Edinburgh and an MRes in Systems and Synthetic Biology at Imperial College London, I’ve worked with bacteria that can upcycle lithium ion battery waste and produce plastic-degrading enzymes. My current DPhil project is on molecular farming, which is the production of useful recombinant proteins in plants. By trying to optimise production of SARS-CoV2 antibodies as an example case, I hope to show how plants can act as greener biofactories. I hope to take an interdisciplinary approach to the problem, using wet lab techniques alongside programming software tools to process data and identify new approaches.

Outside of my studies, I enjoy running, travelling, and trying new food. I chose St Cross after learning about its international student population, warm atmosphere, amazing food, and its support for students throughout their studies. 

I’m very grateful to have been offered a Lorna Casselton Memorial Scholarship as it has made it possible for me to pursue a PhD programme. This allows me to work towards my goal of pursuing a career in environmental biotechnology while explore a really exciting research area in this field for the next four years. 

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