Dr Thomas Howard
Shell Open Innovation Independent Research Fellow


I am a molecular biologist and biochemist interested in how complex and highly coordinated metabolic networks emerge from metabolic pathways. My research currently focuses on the production of industry-friendly biofuel molecules. I was part of the team that was awarded a University of Exeter Impact Award for 'Outstanding Impact in Technology' and was a BBSRC Innovator of the Year Finalist in 2014.

I received my B.Sc. from the University of Reading, during which time I was awarded an Erasmus Exchange Scholarship to study ‘Plant Cell and Molecular Biology’ at Uppsala University in Sweden, a visit that was key to inspiring my choice of research area. I subsequently gained my Ph.D. from the University of Sheffield working as a BBSRC Case Award student with Advanced Technologies (Cambridge) Ltd. using plant biotechnology for crop improvement. I have since published my research on a number of different aspects of the genetic and biochemical regulation of carbon flux both at the University of Essex and the John Innes Centre. I joined Exeter in 2011 and became a Shell Open Innovation Independent Research Fellow in 2013.

I have a strong commitment to student-led research. I instigated and supervised the University of Exeter’s first entry into the iGEM competition in 2012 (creating The 4th Domain along the way), and I am supervising the 2014 team. I teach undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as actively supporting wider participation in science through the Nuffield student scholarship scheme.

Broad research specialisms:

Metabolic Biology; Carbon Flux; Biofuels & Bioenergy; Synthetic Biology for Enhanced Metabolic Engineering, Student-Led Research.


B.Sc., Ph.D., ASPIRE Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Contact details

Tel+44 (0) 1392 729297
AddressGeoffrey Pope Building
University of Exeter
Stocker Road
OfficeMezzanine Lab

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