Dr. Jim Ajioka

Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge

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Jim Ajioka is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Pathology and Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge.  He received his PhD in Drosophila population genetics from SUNY Stony Brook’s Department of Ecology and Evolution and helped establish the Drosophila Genome Project as an NIH postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Dan Hartl’s lab at Washington University.  Jim's  current research combines science and engineering, employing population genetic tools and large-scale molecular biology to  i) investigate host-intracellular pathogen interactions  using Toxoplasma gondii as a model and ii) implement Synthetic Biology methods for construction of genetic systems in microbes.   Both areas of research are underpinned by genomic, transcriptomic, metabolomic, proteomic techniques with associated computational analyses.

Currently, Dr. Ajioka's lab works on large scale DNA assembly of synthetic circuits in Gram positive bacteria and protozoan biology. He is Co-Chair of the University’s Synthetic Biology Strategic Research Initiaitive and leads a Wellcome Trust programme to build and employ novel biosensors, using Synthetic Biology techniques. Jim’s lab is also funded by the EPSRC for foundational work such as generalised codon optimisation, robust switches and counters and big DNA manipulation.

What will make your time feel well spent?

If we are able to take this meeting forward to further collaborations/capacity building.  The best outcome would be to understand how we can contribute to the first question via our expertise in biosensor technology, e.g. teaching, student or postdoc exchange to work on specific projects

What would you like to share during the meeting? 

Our experience in the arsenic biosensor project both in vivo and in vitro systems.  Along with technical issues, our Responsible Research Innovation experience is probably useful.