The GeneMill is an automation, synthetic biology and protein production facility as well as a founder member of the Global Biofoundry Alliance, formed as part of the UK government initiative to strengthen engineering biology capabilities in the country and beyond.

GeneMill offers a modern range of capabilities for high-throughout, automated gene cloning, sequence diversity generation and phenotyping (“Design, Build, Test”). Our portfolio also includes a full protein production service.

Our facility has experience in molecular biology methodology as applied to modern synthetic biology for the construction and testing of a variety of DNA and other molecular libraries. A dedicated team runs the production of custom protein expression in bacteria, yeast and insect cells.

The facility’s state-of-the-art equipment and resources are supported by experienced and knowledgeable specialists led by renowned system biology and biotechnology expert Professor Douglas B. Kell.

What you'll receive from our facility

  • GeneMill has an active research and development track record to ensure that we have and can develop state-of-the-art methods, and that allows us to engage in challenging projects and to collaborate with a range of stakeholders
  • Our facility staff are available to share their expertise on DNA construct design, HT DNA fabrication and cloning and phenotyping
  • We provide a full range of services, including providing end-to-end design, construction and phenotypic validation of libraries of gene constructs. We are also able to offer support in: grant applications (preliminary data analysis, figure preparation, method development, data management planning and costings); analysis including method development, data acquisition, associated software training and support and dissemination including outreach and stakeholder support, manuscript preparation and data deposition
  • The expression of custom protein at competitive rates in hosts such as bacteria (e.g. E.coli), yeast (e.g. S.cerevisiae, P.pastoris) and insect cells
  • Training is provided on a 1-to-1 hands-on basis.

Who can use our facilities

  • University of Liverpool staff and students
  • Other universities / research institutions
  • Industry and other private sector entities.

What the GeneMill can be used for

  • Identifying novel genes and pathways through metagenomic analyses
  • Optimising proteins using combinatorial libraries
  • Liquid robotic handling for drug and fragment library screening
  • Screening of affinity and solubility tags for protein expression
  • Mixing-and-Matching protein domains for structural and functional studies
  • Screening of regulatory DNA sequences e.g. promoters, operators, enhancers etc.
  • Scalable fermentation
  • Expression optimisation
  • Clone screening.

Back to: Research

Booking our facilities

Booking duration and rates for facilities and equipment can be flexible depending on your research needs.

The best way to contact us is through our enquiry form but you can also email us directly at or call 0151 794 655.

Equipment and/or techniques

Protein production

GeneMill runs a production line from clone design and construct through to protein production using a range of equipment such as cell disruptors (Thermo King Fisher cell extractor, high capacity Biosystems cell disruptor), automated chromatography (HPLC Akta), fermentors (10 L capacity).

Cell phenotyping

Flow cytometry for cell phenotyping: BioRad fluorocytometry analyzer ZE5, Sartorius iQue analyzer, Sony MA900 sorter, K6-2 Colony Picker.

Robotic liquid handling

Analytik Jena customised liquid handling assembly with a Felix station, plate sealer, plate reader, qPCR station, and incubator. GeneMill also hosts an Echo 550, Mosquito.

CyBio FeliX System (integrated system)

RoboLector (small volume fermentation)

Find us

Merseybio building
Third floor
Crown Street
University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L63 7ZB