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Jose Jimenez

Lecturer in Synthetic Biology



Dr. Jose Jimenez is a molecular microbiologist that earned his Ph.D. in 2006 working for Spanish Research Council (CIB-CSIC) in environmental bacteria for the removal of pollutants. After that he moved into systems and synthetic biology of bacteria in a postdoctoral stay in the National Center for Biotechnology (CSIC; Spain) where he developed molecular tools for engineering metabolic pathways.

In 2010 he joined the Center for Systems Biology at Harvard University (USA) as a Fellow for the Foundational Questions in Evolutionary Biology program to study evolutionary dynamics of microbial and prebiotic systems. In 2012 he enrolled in the Synthetic Biology Center at MIT (USA) as a postdoctoral associate where he studied mechanisms of cellular competition for gene expression in bacteria.

Dr. Jimenez has lead the SynBio lab at Surrey since 2014. His research is currently sponsored by BBSRC and the programme Horizon2020 of the European Union.

Research interests

The principles guiding engineering efforts in Synthetic Biology can be very well summarized by Richard Feynman's quote 'What I cannot create, I do not understand'. However, many times unexpected emergent behaviors arise in living cells and we can't just ignore them. This is particularly bad when trying to implement genetic circuits to carry out a specific function.

The synbio lab at Surrey focuses on that problem. We are looking into the economics of cellular resources in bacteria; if we understand how cells decide to allocate their resources, we will be able to efficiently design genetic circuits capable of performing many different tasks. We also try to take advantage of evolution using combinatorial approaches for tailored functions. We are interested in everything that evolves with special mention to ribozymes, bacteriophages and antibodies.

Research collaborations

Dr. Irene Chen (University of California Santa Barbara, USA)

Dr. Domitilla Del Vecchio (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)

Prof. Victor de Lorenzo (National Center for Biotechnology-CSIC, Spain).

Prof. Declan Bates (University of Warwick, UK).


BMS1047 Molecular Biology - Genes and their Function

BMS2044 Microbial Communities and InteractionsBMS3092 Advanced Technologies in Gene Expression

MMIM018 Pathogenesis of Infectious DiseasesMMIM024 Bacterial genetics and Molecular BiologyMMIM029 Journal Club

MMVM002 Microbial Genetics

Lab members

Postdoctoral Associates

Dr. Manuel Salvador de Lara (email)

Dr. Juhyun Kim (email)


P4SB: From plastic waste to plastic value using Pseudomonas putida synthetic biology. Horizon2020. European Commission (2015-2019).

The role of the cellular economics in the expression of exogenous genes: Towards modularity in synthetic circuit design. BBSRC (2015-2018).

My publications

Additional publications