UCL Division of Biosciences

Prof Saul Purton

Prof Saul Purton

Professor of Algal Biotechnology

Structural & Molecular Biology

Div of Biosciences

Joined UCL
1st Jan 1991

Research summary

My research encompasses four major themes:

1. The nuclear control of gene expression in the chloroplast and mitochondrial organelles.

2. The evolution and metabolism of the algal chloroplast.

3. The production of high value recombinant products through genetic engineering of algal chloroplasts and cyanobacteria.

4. The development of new synthetic biology tools and methodology for genetic engineering of algae.

Teaching summary

I am course organiser for the 2nd year undergraduate course BIOC0005: Molecular Biology

I also teach on the following courses:

BIOC0003: Experimental Biochemistry
BIOC0004: Introduction to Microbiology
BIOC0015: Cellular Regulation in Biotechnology, Health & Disease
BIOL0009: Experimental Genetics and Model Systems
BIOL0030: Energy and Evolution
BIOSG006: MRes in Synthetic Biology
MSc in Bio-Integrated Design

I supervise research and literature projects for BSc and MSci students in Biosciences, and also supervise a number of PhD students.


University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), ATQ03 - Recognised by the HEA as a Fellow | 2007
University of Cambridge
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1988
University of Bristol
First Degree, Bachelor of Science (Honours) | 1984


1984:  BSc in Biochemistry, University of Bristol
1988:. PhD in Plant Molecular Biology, University of Cambridge
1988-1990:  E.M.B.O. Long-Term Research Fellow. Dept of Molecular Biology, University of Geneva, Switzerland.
1990-1991:  Research Scientist. Dept of Molecular Biology, University of Geneva, Switzerland.
1991-1996:  Lecturer, Department of Biology, UCL.
1996-2001:  Senior Lecturer, Department of Biology, UCL.
2001-2009:  Reader, Department of Biology, UCL.
2009-2015:  Reader, Institute of Structural & Molecular Biology, UCL.
2015-onwards: Professor of Algal Biotechnology