NPRONET - Natural products discovery and bioengineering network


NPRONET will be beneficial to UK industry and society because secondary metabolites, produced predominantly by microorganisms and plants, have inspired the development of many blockbuster drugs including most antibiotics in clinical use.

Natural products are also used in agriculture as herbicides, pesticides and fungicides to increase crop yields which can help feed the growing population.

The network is timely, not only because of the urgent need for new antibiotics but also because of the explosion in genome sequencing is revealing a vast array of new and unexploited biosynthetic gene clusters.

The network aims to, in addition to the scientific aims listed here :

  • Build on UK’s leading expertise in biosynthesis and microbiology;
  • Exploit expertise – chemistry, enzymology, bioinformatics, microbiology & genetics…
  • Establish new collaborations and partnerships between academia and industry
  • Restore confidence in natural products within industry and influence policy
  • Support new projects through PoC and BIVs leading to competative external applications
  • Organise annual meetings, focused events, PhD/PDRA meetings…
  • Provide a supportive environment for early career researchers

NPRONET Management Board

The NPRONET Management Board (MB) comprises the members listed below and includes representatives from Industry as well as academics across the UK. The MB will help steer the strategic direction of the network and ensure that all resources are allocated in fair and transparent manner in order to derive maximum benefit for NPRONET members and stakeholders.

Executive Group

Director: Jason Micklefield (Chemistry & MIB – University of Manchester)
Co-Director: Barrie Wilkinson (John Innes Centre – Norwich)
Network Manager: Sarah Shepherd (MIB – University of Manchester)

Management Board

Andrew Collis (GSK, BESS, Global Manufacturing & Supply)
Jason Vincent (Syngenta – Jealott’s Hill Research Centre)
Mike Dawson (Novacta & Cantab Anti-infectives)
Greg Challis (Chemistry – University of Warwick)
Diane Kelly (Life Sciences – University of Swansea)
Marcel Jaspars (Marine Biodiscovery Centre – Aberdeen)
Ryan Seipke (Biological Sciences – University of Leeds)
Paul Hoskisson (Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences – University of Strathclyde)