Louise And Mike Win Awards

Louise and Mike were the recipients of the School of Biological Sciences Recognising Excellence Awards for Public Engagement for all their hard work this past year bringing science to the public.

Christmas Lunch

The lab went out for their Christmas lunch and then preceded to karaoke. Merriment and mirth was had by all, although some of the karaoke is probably best forgotten!


Matt and Virginia attended the Mudpit event at the ECCI to discuss the problems of urban bioremediation and soil contamination. It was an open floor debate looking at skillsets, problems faced and potential solutions. All in all, very interesting.

SynBio Society

Here at Edinburgh University we have a student society dedicated to all things synthetic biology related. Louise was really pleased to be able to talk research, metals and microbes with the SynBio Society at the Student Union this evening.

BBRSC NIBB: Metal-related Antimicrobials Event

Matt and Virginia attended the event organised at Durham University. The quality of the talks was fantastic and covered different topics such as metal antimicrobials in: Agriculture; fast moving consumer goods, therapeutics; nutritional immunity and biomimicry and industrial bioprocesses (biofilms).

Strathclyde Seminar

Louise travelled over to Glasgow to give a research seminar on 'microbes and metal nanoparticles' at Strathclyde's Institute for Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences. Thanks to Paul Hoskisson for the invite and the amazing curry.

Back To The Future

As part of the news coverage to celebrate the day that Marty McFly time travelled in the film, 'Back to the Future - Part 2', Louise was interviewed by both Radio 4 and BBC Radio Belfast on the future technologies that could impact our lives in the next 30 years.

New Equipment

The Lab is pleased to welcome a Class II hood for all our sterile work, no more camping stoves for us!

Synthetic Biology At The Royal Institution

As part of Biology week there was a debate held by the Royal Society of Biology and the Biochemical Society lecture theatre to discuss the impact and applications of Synthetic Biology. The Royal Institution was at full capacity with over 400 guests of different ages and scientific backgrounds, eager to discuss the topic. The event featured a panel of four scientists, including our very own Dr Horsfall, and was chaired by Dr Adam Rutherford. Louise spoke about how synthetic biology might make us more resource efficient and provide opportunities for us to move towards a more sustainable, circular economy.

Miguel Joins The lab

The lab welcomes our new PhD student, Miguel, who joins us to work on bioremediation using Desulfovibrio.

iGEM Success

All through the summer we’ve been supporting the Edinburgh undergraduate iGEM team.
Louise accompanied the team to the Giant Jamboree in Boston and was overjoyed to see them win Best Integrated Human Practices. The team were also nominated for Best Health and Medicine Project and brought home a gold medal. It wasn’t all fun and celebrations though, Louise worked hard whilst out in Boston, judging the competition and being on a panel debating how best to support women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM).

Instruments Of The Afterlife At The V&A

Matt and Mike were present for the unveiling of a piece of art based on the CL4W project at the Victoria and Albert museum put together by artists Michael Burton & Michiko Nitta in collaboration with the CORE project. The event went brilliantly and was even featured on the EPSRC’s homepage.
Pictures can be found HERE.

Doors Open Day

Fatai and Virginia ran the Horsfall Lab stand at the doors open day at the university, showing kids and adults alike just what we do in the lab and how fun it is.

Charlotte Joins The Lab

The Lab is pleased to welcome new member Charlotte, who started her PhD studies with us today and is going to make the production and isolation of biogenic copper nanoparticles more efficient

Bang Goes The Borders

The Horsfall Lab were at St Mary’s School in Melrose as part of the Bang Goes the Borders Science festival. Lots of Jellyfish, lots of balloons and lots of glowsticks!

University’s Rising Star

This evening Louise was presented with the Chancellor’s Rising Star Award, this annual award honours an early career academic appointed to the University within the last five years. Louise was selected as the 2015 awardee for her contribution to teaching, research and industrial engagement in the field of Synthetic Biology… and is over the moon!

2015 Scottish Crucible Success

After taking part in the fantastic 2015 Scottish Crucible Programme http://www.scottishcrucible.org.uk, visiting the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Scottish Parliament, the University of Dundee and Robert Gordon University, Louise has been awarded funding for a collaborative project entitled ‘Assessing the potential of audio visualisation as a method for data exploration’. Announced just this evening at the Royal Society of Edinburgh by Prof Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, President of the RSE.


01-03-09-15Matt and Virginia made the trip down south to the Synthetic Biology UK 2015 conference in London. They presented a poster of their work for the CLAW project. Matt also did a 5 minute flash poster presentation and was awarded 3rd place in the poster competition, winning us 1.8 Kb of free DNA synthesis!

New Lab!

The Horsfall group can now be found in our new labs in the Roger Land Building. Now all that remains is to unpack

The Big Move

The Horsfall Lab say bye-bye to the Darwin building as they move venue to pastures new just across campus.

Women In Science

_DRP2542Louise met with the Cabinet Secretary for Education & lifelong Learning, Angela Constance MSP, when she came to visit the University of Edinburgh today to discuss Women in STEMM.

Fatai’s Poster Presentation

Fatai presented his research as a poster to the department at the recent second year poster event. He got some feedback on his results so far and it showcased just how much work he’s already done.

Nick’s Work In The Media

Nick was interviewed by journalists on a Scottish Industrial Biotechnology visit organised by the IBioIC. They were very interested in his PhD work on the remediation of whisky distillery byproducts. Links to some of the articles below.
Link 1
Link 2
Link 3

Zhili Joins The Lab

The Lab is pleased to welcome Zhili Yu who joins us from China. Zhili is a summer student who will work with Nick on a gene deletion method for Morganella sp.

Virginia Joins The Lab

The Lab is pleased to welcome our new Post-Doc Virginia Echavarri-Bravo who joins us to work on the CL4W project to characterise some of our biogenic nanoparticles and look into their future applications.

SULSA 2015 Synthetic Biology Meeting

The Lab made the short trip to the University of Dundee to attend the Scottish Universities Life Science Association’s 2015 Synthetic Biology Meeting. We all got to hear about some of the cutting edge SynBio research taking place in Scotland and Nick did us proud by presenting his PhD research as a short talk. It was also great to see the Edinburgh iGEM team present their first poster.

Nick Returns

Nick has returned from his whirlwind tour of the Highland distilleries and, since he now has to concentrate on writing up his thesis, we will be happy to help him out with the consumption of any whisky he’s brought back from his travels.

Advanced Biomanufacturing Conference

Matt presented a poster entitled ‘Using synthetic biology to create useful materials from metal contaminants’ at the Advanced Biomanufacturing Conference in Sheffield and attracted quite a bit of interest.

Tot Zo To Sjaak

Sjaak has left for pastures new, we wish him all the best for the future and look forward to seeing him again soon as he tries to sell us things in his new line of work.

Lab Dinner

The lab went out for Mexican to celebrate Aritha coming to the end of her time in the lab. We wish her all the best for her Ph.D. at York University.

New Recruits

Ian and Dainius join the lab for their MSc research project. They both currently studying for their MSc in Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology and they will be characterising genes in Desulfovibrio that are involved in nanoparticle synthesis.

Science Festival

The Horsfall Lab once again took part in the Edinburgh Science Festival. We had a stand at which we taught children and adults alike about fluorescent bacteria, and how they might be used in the cleaning of contaminated land…… and everyone went home with a glowstick!

New Plate Reader

The lab has acquired a new plate reader for all our screening needs, and it is already heavily in use.

Visiting Artists

Michael Burton and Michiko Nitta visited SynthSys and interviewed members of the Horsfall Lab as part of an art-science collaboration based on the CL4W project, with funding from CORE. They gave a fascinating talk about their previous projects. More of their work can be found HERE.

Sayonara Takanori

Sadly we say goodbye to Takanori who moves on to pastures new. It has been great having him in the lab and he’ll be missed greatly. He goes to Manchester University to join the Institute of Inflammation and Repair.

Nick In The Highlands

Nick embarks on his industrial placement with Diageo, visiting various whisky distilleries around Scotland. Hopefully he’ll bring us back some samples.


The lab has had a paper published in the journal New Biotechnology, entitled ‘Nickel and Platinum Group metal nanoparticle production by Desulfovibrio alaskensis G20’. Check it out HERE.

Catalytic Sustainability In The Future

Matt attended a meeting in Manchester looking at the use of nanoparticles in catalysis. He presented a poster and a flash presentation that generated quite a bit of interest and hopefully some future collaborations.

Lab Meal

09-02-15 Time4Thai
The Lab went out for dinner last night, followed by a visit to the Scottish Malt Whisky Society and a good time was had by all!

Youtube Sensation

Members of the Horsfall lab gave interviews about their work and public engagement at the CORE and CL4W meeting last year in Loughborough.
Louise Interview
Matt Interview
Mike Interview
Nick Interview

New Lab Equipment

19-02-15 Microscope
The Horsfall lab has added a light microscope to their range of lab equipment.

New Lab Member

The lab is pleased to welcome Aritha, who joins us to work on the CL4W project for her 4th year honours project