Susan is Professor of Synthetic Biology at the University of Edinburgh. She is Director of the Edinburgh Mammalian Synthetic Biology Research Centre, Co-director of the Edinburgh Genome Foundry for synthetic DNA synthesis and assembly. She also holds a prestigious EPSRC Leadership Fellowship in Synthetic Biology. Her research focuses on developing tools for synthetic biology approaches for pathway and genome engineering in bacteria, yeast and mammalian cell systems. The applications of her work include rapid strain engineering for production of high value secondary metabolites, cell lines for protein production, engineering bacteria to generate electricity and developing genetic tools for bio-computation: engineering cells to sense, process and memorise information.
Previously Susan was a lecturer in Biotechnology at the Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology at the University of Glasgow before being promoted to Professor in 2012. Susan studied microbiology and genetics at the University of Dundee before doing a PhD on the mechanisms of multiple antibiotic resistance. She then moved to the Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge to work on the biotransformation of cocaine and high explosives.