Microbial Master-Chemists

Microbial chemistry makes bread rise and cheese mature, and turns grapes into wine. Microbes help make engine fuel, life-saving antibiotics and nano-particle sunscreens. Without fungi and bacteria, the world would sink under its own waste within days, since only these microbes have the ability to degrade complex polymers such as the lignin in plants. Might we be able to harness this amazing power of microbial degradation to help remove the human-made plastic mountain, or clean up toxic waste?

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Gresham Professor of Physic, Chief Scientific Adviser at the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Professor of Infectious Disease at the University of Birmingham, Professor Robin May was appointed Gresham Professor of Physic in May 2022.

Professor May’s early training was in Plant Sciences at the University of Oxford, followed by a PhD on mammalian cell biology at University College London and the University of Birmingham.


TBC London EC1N 2HH

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