Portrait of Dr Simon Moore

Dr Simon Moore

Lecturer in Synthetic Biology


The Moore Lab - Synthetic Biology for Natural Products

For full details of the group, please visit the main research webpage:



Dr Simon Moore began as a PhD student with Prof Martin Warren (University of Kent), working on tetrapyrrole natural product biosynthesis, the so-called “pigments of life”. Dr Moore elucidated the anaerobic biosynthesis of vitamin B12 and coenzyme F430. In 2013, he joined Imperial College London with Prof Paul Freemont and Prof Karen Polizzi to study the rising field of synthetic biology. During this time, he learned about cell-free transcription-translation (TX-TL) systems. Then, in 2017 he began an independent fellowship (Wellcome Trust ISSF) to study Streptomyces natural products, where he developed the Streptomyces TX-TL system. In 2018, Simon rejoined Kent as a lecturer. He works within the newly emerging synthetic biology for natural products field.

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-1968-206X

Research interests

Synthetic Biology for Natural Products

Natural product biosynthesis

Cell-free transcription-translation systems



BIOS5010: Gene Expression and its Control (Lecturer)

BIOS6280: Microbial Physiology and Genetics II (Module convenor)


BIOS8510: Advanced Molecular Processing for Biotechnologists and Bioengineers (Lecturer)

BIOS8610/BIOS8630/BIOS8640/BIOS8650/BIOS8690: Research Skills Modules (Module convenor)

BIOS8620: Pathogen Diagnosis, Therapeutics and Vaccines (Lecturer)


Masters by research students

We regularly support summer studentships and MSc by research students. Project areas are listed below. Please contact Dr Simon Moore for discussions - s.j.r.moore[at]kent.ac.uk

"Silent" biosynthetic gene clusters

Synthetic biology is accelerating the discovery of promising new bioactive natural products. We are interested in studying "silent" biosynthetic gene clusters and specific pathways of interest. Our focus is on developing tools that overcome barriers in natural product discovery, as well as elucidating biosynthetic pathways.

Novel antibiotics for Gram-negative bacterial infectious diseases

There is an urgent need to develop new antibiotics to prevent mortality from infectious diseases. We are working on new methodologies to identify antibiotics that inhibit Gram-negative bacteria (to be published).

Cell-free TX-TL and biosynthesis

Cell-free TX-TL is a rapidly developing area in synthetic biology for the implementation of the design-built-test-learn cycle. We are interested in the potential of using cell-free systems to study Streptomyces genetics, BGCs and enzymes from natural product biosynthesis.

Fluorescent direct protein (DiPro) biosensors

Fluorescence is a valuable physical property widely exploited for medical imaging through to detecting diseases and toxic chemicals. Recently, we have discovered a novel fluorescent protein that detects specific chemicals. We call this mechanism a direct protein (DiPro) biosensor.

DiPro biosensor preprint - www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.09.22.461347v1

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