Building our Biofuture: Policy issues and opportunities for next generation biotechnologies


Eriko Takano

Manchester Institute of Biotechnology

Professor of Synthetic Biology


Eriko Takano is Professor of Synthetic Biology in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, Department of Chemistry, School of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, at the University of Manchester. She is one of three directors for the EPSRC/BBSRC-funded Manchester Synthetic Biology Research Centre, SYNBIOCHEM, and a visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Japan. She has also been a World Research Hub Initiative (WRHI) Visiting Professor at the School of Life Science and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan. Eriko is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the synthetic biology of microbes for antibiotic production. She has been working in both industrial and academic research for 38 years. She studied pharmacy at Kitasato University, School of Pharmacy, Tokyo, Japan with Prof Satoshi Omura (2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine). After working as a researcher at the R&D facility of Meiji Seika Kaisha, Yokohama, Japan, she moved to the John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK. She obtained her PhD from the University of East Anglia in 1994, while working at the John Innes Centre, where she continued working as a postdoc. Before her arrival in Manchester, she had held positions as a Rosalind Franklin Fellow, Associate Professor at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and as Assistant Professor (C1) in the Department of Microbiology / Biotechnology, University of Tübingen, Germany. Eriko’s research interests cover many facets of microbial synthetic biology: bioinformatics software development (e.g. antiSMASH); untargeted metabolomics for chassis engineering; regulatory circuit engineering through signalling molecules; microbiome and spider silk engineering; fine chemical biosynthetic gene pathway assembly and engineering; and systems biology. Eriko has published 137 peer-reviewed papers and 4 book chapters and holds 4 international patents. She has been elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. She has served as an expert advisor for the EU, UK and Japanese governments. She has served as an expert advisor for the European Commission Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks of Synthetic Biology, where she contributed to a series of three official Opinions with major impact on the development of the field.

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