UCL Division of Biosciences


Purton Lab

Our research combines molecular-genetic, biochemical, biophysical and engineering approaches to investigate various basic and applied aspects of algal biology.

Purton Lab - Algal Biology and Biotechnology


Current research includes:

  • Developing the algal chloroplast as a platform for production of therapeutic proteins and novel metabolites
  • Exploring the re-design and re-programming of the chloroplast genome using synthetic biology approaches
  • Developing algae as low-cost, oral delivery systems for aquaculture and as bio-insecticides
  • Understanding the regulation of organelle gene expression by nuclear-encoded factors
  • Enhancing the nutritional content and palatability of edible cyanobacteria and algae

Positions Open

Postdoctoral Positions

There are no positions open at this time.

PhD positions

Details of any studentships awarded directly to Professor Purton will be advertised here, and at findaphd.com, as they become available.

The work in the Group covers a range of topics, so as well as students with degrees in the life sciences, those with backgrounds in Chemistry, Biochemical Engineering or Bioinformatics, can be considered for particular projects.

Informal applications are welcome from students who wish to study for a PhD in an aspect of algal biology or biotechnology, particularly those students who have an independent source of funding (e.g. a government scholarship). Students who fulfil UK residency requirements and are interested in Research Council or Wellcome Trust studentships should visit the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology website for further details, as competition for these studentships is administered centrally by the ISMB.

Genetic engineering tools

Over the years, various selectable markers and cell lines for transformation of the nuclear or chloroplast genome of Chlamydomonas have been developed in the Purton group and made available to the research community. Plasmids and cell lines can be obtained through the Chlamydomonas Resource Center.

See our Genetic Engineering Tools 

Meet the Team


Purton group (30th September 2022)


Find out more about the Members of the Saul Purton lab