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Prof Jim Murray 


I graduated in Genetics from the University of Cambridge in 1983 as a member of King’s College. I was then awarded a Pre-Doctoral Fellowship and studied for my Ph.D. at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany in collaboration with the National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London under Professor Gianni Cesareni [http://mint.bio.uniroma2.it/molecular-genetics/ , analysing the molecular mechanisms responsible for the maintenance of the yeast 2 micron circle plasmid (1983-1987).

In 1988, I was appointed to a University Lectureship in Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge, and was promoted to Reader in Biotechnology in 2001 and to a Personal Chair as Professor of Molecular Biotechnology in 2004, leading an active research group of around 15 postdocs and postgraduate students. Over 20 PhD students have successfully graduated from my lab since 1993, almost all completing with 4 years, and 40 postdoctoral researchers have worked with me. Many now occupy prestigious positions across the globe as researchers and leaders in academia and industry.

Research in the lab focuses around molecular aspects of cellular development in plants, particularly the control of cell division and cellular differentiation in plant growth, and on applications of molecular biology, based in our expertise in yeast molecular biology and bioluminescence.

The group has always collaborated widely with both academic groups and companies from across the UK and Europe. We have hosted several Marie Curie Fellows with an excellent success rate in applications and participated in multiple EU projects and Research Training Networks, including the Systems Biology of the Shoot Apical Meristem (SY-STEM), and enquiries from outstanding applicants interested in joining the lab are always welcome.

My interests span from basic biological research to the applications of technology and entrepreneurship, and I have filed 11 patents in diverse areas. In 2003 I co-founded Lumora Ltd, a molecular diagnostics company that is focused on high-speed portable DNA diagnostics devices based on a novel bioluminescent technology for detecting microorganisms in foods and disease [http//:www.lumora.co.uk]. From 2004-2008 I was Academic Director of the Master’s in Bioscience Enterprise, a high profile international course that combines teaching of the latest advances in biotechnology with business and entrepreneurship skills, and in 2007 was acting Director of the Management of Technology and Innovation in the Judge Business School, Cambridge University.

In late 2008, I transferred the research group to the School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, opening exciting new collaboration opportunities and a new chapter for the lab. Here we occupy newly refurbished and purpose-designed facilities with an excellent equipment infrastructure. We are based within a broad and stimulating biological sciences department (http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/biosi/ ), which emphasises our interest in collaborating widely across the biological and other sciences, and located in the exciting city of Cardiff [http://www.visitcardiff.com/ ].