Department of Plant Scienes University of Cambridge
Alison Smith is Professor of Plant Biochemistry in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge. Her research interests are focussed around the metabolism of plants, algae and bacteria, in particular of vitamins and cofactors, and more recently for compounds of commercial interest such as high-value compounds and biofuel precursors. Current projects include taking a synthetic biology approach to developing microalgae as industrial biotechnology platforms to facilitate predictable metabolic engineering, and the role of vitamins in the interaction of algae with other microbes in the environment. She has interacted with industry throughout her career, from agrichemical to oil companies to small start-ups, seeking to promote ways in which her research could be of use to them, and was a founding member of the Algal Biotechnology Consortium in 2007.