UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Welcome back! PhD graduate Dr Leo Rios joins the academic team

12 October 2023

We’re delighted to announce the return of Dr Leo Rios who graduated from UCL Biochemical Engineering in 2012 with his PhD titled "Microscale evaluation of de novo engineered whole cell biocatalysts"

Leo Rios

Leo was a Senior Lecturer at the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences before joining the academic team at UCL Biochemical Engineering. He studied an MEng in Chemical Engineering at UNAM in Mexico then an MSc In Biotechnology at the Mexican Institute of Petroleum, Mexico before taking up postgraduate research with us. We’re very pleased to be welcoming him back! 

His research is driven by the fascinating field of Synthetic Bioprocessing, finding novel ways to promote further understanding in the overlapping areas of Biochemical Engineering, Automation, and Synthetic Biology. The overall aim is to find novel ground-breaking solutions to apply this knowledge to tackle growing global socio-economic inequalities such as access to food and pharmaceuticals, boosting local bio-economies, as well as the promotion of a greener and more sustainable environment. 

Leo’s research group has secured several grants to apply synthetic biology tools to engineer cell factories to produce bulk or high-value products such as biofuels, cellular agriculture, edible oils, fragrances, biomaterials, and pharmaceuticals. His team has leveraged Leo’s previous expertise in microscale bioreactors, continuous-flow systems, and open-source automation tools to speed up the design, construction, and characterization of microbial cell factories, taking into consideration industrial-scale conditions. 

As well as his focus on research, Leo is very interested in promoting entrepreneurship, and he is the co-founder of Marizca LTD and Logikopt SA de CV. 

“Me and my team are driven by a passion for unlocking the potential of synthetic bioprocessing to make a positive impact on society. Please do reach out to us if you are interested in pioneering novel bioprocess approaches, engineering cutting-edge biological systems, and forging a path towards a more sustainable and prosperous future.” Dr Leo Rios, October 2023