Welcome! We are a new research group at The University of Edinburgh. Led by Dr Nadanai Laohakunakorn, our vision is to master the use of cell-free synthetic biology to enable a wide variety of applications in biomanufacturing, biosensing, and healthcare.

Harnessing these simplified mimics of living cells gives us a unique approach to understanding life, by building it up from its most basic components.

Please check back regularly for updates!

Photo: Z. Swank


  • 18 Apr 2024 » Congratulations to Surendra who just presented his PhD work at the SynCell 2024 conference in Toulouse, France.
  • 14 Apr 2024 » Michael's preprint on applying machine learning to study physiochemical properties of natural and engineered proteins is now out on bioRxiv. A great collaboration with the OyarzĂșn and Wells Wood groups!
  • 15 Jan 2024 » We welcome Ryan Lee, visiting PhD student from the Chou lab in Toronto, and Paula Juve, undergraduate honours student, who are both starting their projects in the lab today.
  • 23 Aug 2023 » Nadanai has just returned from the BioGate competition, impressively hosted by students at the Istanbul Technical University.
  • 21 Aug 2023 » Big congratulations to Junming and Matthew for finishing their MSc and Hons projects respectively. We enjoyed working with them and wish them all the best for their future careers.
  • 29 May 2023 » Another warm welcome to Matthew Hardcastle, who will join the lab to work on acid-stressed cell-free systems for his honours project.
  • 1 May 2023 » We welcome Junming Li to start her MSc in our lab, continuing on Dev's excellent work involving encapsulated enzymes in cell-free systems.
  • 22 April 2023 » We had fine weather for our group hike at the Hermitage in Dunkeld:
  • social

  • 21 March 2023 » Nadanai gives a talk at the Engineering Life conference at MIAPbP in Munich. It was a very interesting workshop, with plenty of discussions about the big questions in synthetic biology!
  • 16 January 2023 » We welcome Dev Vaidya to our lab to begin an honours project investigating cell-free enzyme encapsulation, as well as Aarushi Ruhela, a PhD student co-supervised with Jamie Marland in the School of Engineering, who will study electronic interfaces to cell-free reactions.
  • 3 October 2022 » At the start of a new academic year, we say goodbye to Paula after a very successful summer project. We welcome Christoph Wagner, a new PhD student co-supervised with Andrea Weisse's group, who will be working on regenerating cell-free systems. And we congratulate Sahan on publishing his paper on phage engineering in cell-free. Lots of good news all around!
  • 7 July 2022 » Congratulations to Sarah who has published a paper, in collaboration with Ella Thornton, Zoe Gidden, Mathew Horrocks, and Lynne Regan, on a new surface immobilisation technique for cell-free synthesised proteins. Read it here!