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Hollfelder Group


Joined the Hollfelder group: October 2020

Background and Current Projects:  During my Postdoc I will be working on bacterial degradation of polyethylene; identifying the genes responsible for polyethylene degradation, developing assays to measure degradation rates, and improving enzyme activity through protein evolution. The central questions are therefore: why are bacteria so bad at eating plastic, how can we tell they are so bad at eating plastic, and how do we make them less bad at eating plastic. I completed my PhD in Pamela Silvers lab at Harvard University. My thesis was on biocontainment, using genome recoding to prevent horizontal gene transfer, and environmentally sensitive kill switches to prevent physical translocation. Or how to make sure bacteria have no friends and are dead.>

Interests: Board games, hiking, camping, volleyball, cooking, eating plastic.



[6] Buckley S, Sparks R, Cowdery E, Stirling F, Marsching J and Phillips N (2022) Enhancing crop growth in rooftop farms by repurposing CO2 from human respiration inside buildings.
Front. Sustain. Food Syst. 6:918027.  Link

[5] Finn Stirling, Pamela Silver. Controlling the implementation of transgenic microbes: are we ready for what synthetic biology has to offer? (2020) Molecular Cell. 78 (4). Link

[4] Finn Stirling, Alexander Naydich et al, Pamela Silver. Synthetic circuits for pH mediated sensing, counting and containment. (2020) Cell Reports. 30 (9). Link

[3] James Kuo, Finn Stirling et al. Synthetic genome recoding: new genetic codes for new features (2018) Current Genetics. 64. Link

[2] Finn Stirling et al. Rational Design of Evolutionarily Stable Microbial Kill Switches (2017) Molecular cell. 68 (4). Link

[1] Yu Heng lau, Finn Stirling et al. Large-scale recoding of a bacterial genome by iterative recombineering of synthetic DNA (2017) Nucleic Acids Research. 45 (11). Link

Contact Details

80 Tennis Court Road
Cambridge, CB2 1GA
01223 766 046

Job Title

Post-doctoral Research Associate