skip to content

Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology


I'm working in the Open Bioeconomy Lab led by Jenny Molloy and hosted in the laboratory of prof. Lisa Hall

I'm developing hardware and wetware tools to enable biotechnology in low-resources settings. Specifically, I'm helping to select the DNA modules within the Open Enzyme project and finding ways to express protein in E. coli using low-cost reagents. I work to lower the production costs of cell-free protein synthesis in order to deploy this technology in remote areas thatare not well served by current supply chains.  I'm helping to develop an open-source low-cost bioreactor to grow and express proteins in E. coli. 

I'm an automation enthusiast and I can't wait for robots to take over my pipetting skills. I've obtained my PhD studying the photosynthetic process in cyanobacteria using synthetic biology tools at LMU and did my first post-doc at Rothamsted Research in diatom engineering.


Key publications: 

Multifunctionalizing the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum for sustainable co-production of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and recombinant phytase, A Pudney, C Gandini, CK Economou, R Smith, P Goddard, JA Napier,  A Spicer, O Sayanova, Scientific reports, 2019 9 (1), 1-10 

The transporter SynPAM71 is located in the plasma membrane and thylakoids, and mediates manganese tolerance in Synechocystis PCC6803, C Gandini, SB Schmidt, S Husted, A Schneider, D Leister, New Phytologist, 2017 215 (1), 256-268

Other publications: 

The evolutionarily conserved protein PHOTOSYNTHESIS AFFECTED MUTANT71 is required for efficient manganese uptake at the thylakoid membrane in Arabidopsis A Schneider, I Steinberger, A Herdean, C Gandini, M Eisenhut, S Kurz, A Morper, N Hoecker, T Rühle, U Flügge, S Geimer, S B Schmidt, S Husted, APM Weber, C Spetea, D Leister, The Plant Cell, 2016 28 (4), 892-910

Teaching and Supervisions

Research supervision: 

Supervisor: Dr Jenny Molloy

Other Professional Activities

I'm advocate for finding a truly sustainable agricultural system to feed the world in the centuries to come. I'm part of the Student Food Security Forum in Cambridge and  have been pitching at Slush Helsinki 2019 the Hectare project. The Hectare idea was developed at Rothamsted research, with the support of BASF, and it is going forward as a side project at the Makespace in Cambridge.

I'm part of the CEB Sustainability Committee.

Chiara Gandini


Person keywords: 
Synthetic Biology
Cell-free protein synthesis
Protein Expression
Open Science
3D Printing