I studied Biochemistry at Oxford University (including a Distinction in Chemical Pharmacology) followed by a D Phil at the same Institution. I spent many years at the University of Aberystwyth before moving to Manchester (UMIST) in 2002, where I led the Manchester Centre for Integrative Systems Biology. I came to Liverpool in December 2018. I was a Founding Director of Aber Instruments Ltd (Queen's Award for Export Achievement 1998), and I have also served on secondment (0.8 FTE) as Chief Executive of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (2008-2013).
I am at heart a systems biologist, though we like any bounded problems with large search spaces that may nevertheless prove tractable. We often choose to develop both computational and high-throughput experimental methods for navigating such search spaces. There is a focus on the metabolome, a term I co-invented. Other current interests include anti-microbial resistance, membrane transporters, especially of pharmaceutical drugs, dormant microbes as elements of supposedly non-communicable diseases, iron dysregulation, and enzyme improvement using the methods of synthetic biology. We are also investing considerable intellectual energy in the development and application of modern methods of machine intelligence (e.g. deep learning) to scientific problems.