Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge
Payam received his undergraduate degree in Plant Biotechnology from the University of Nottingham with an intercalated year at Syngenta and the John Innes Centre, Norwich.
Subsequently, Payam was awarded a PhD studentship from the Home Grown Cereal Association and The University of Nottingham to study the mechanisms for folate (vitamin B9) homeostasis, which is essential for plant metabolism and development. Payam’s PhD research resulted in four publications and his PhD thesis was awarded the University of Nottingham Award for the best PhD thesis in Plant Sciences.
Payam continued his research interest in plant metabolism and characterisation of mechanisms involved in subcellular compartmentation of metabolic reactions at Michigan State University, in the group of Prof. Dean DellaPenna. This work generated new tools to test the movement and accessibility of molecules between and across membranes of different plant subcellular compartments, results of which were published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Science and Trends in Plant Sciences, and highlighted in the faculty of 1000.
In June 2015, Payam joined the Plant Metabolism group at the University of Cambridge and has been using synthetic biology principles for metabolic engineering of microalgae. To achieve this, Payam is developing and testing riboswitch-centric genetic circuits that allow fine-tuning of target metabolic pathways in the microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii with the intention of production of high-value compounds.