Dr Adam Brown

School of Chemical, Materials and Biological Engineering

Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor)

Deputy Director of Research (CBE) – Commercialisation

A headshot of Adam Brown, who is half smiling
Profile picture of A headshot of Adam Brown, who is half smiling
+44 114 222 7608

Full contact details

Dr Adam Brown
School of Chemical, Materials and Biological Engineering (CBE)
Room G54
Sir Robert Hadfield Building
Mappin Street
S1 3JD

I was appointed as Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Biopharmaceutical Engineering in 2018, and subsequently as Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in 2021. My research group collaborates with biotechnology companies in the U.K, U.S, Europe and Asia to develop technologies that improve the manufacture and performance of protein, DNA, mRNA, cell and viral vector products. Specifically, we engineer mammalian biological components with enhanced in vitro/in vivo performance (e.g. genetic expression vectors, cell factories, product sequences). I am also the CTO and co-founder of SynGenSys, a spin-out company providing synthetic genetic systems for next generation biomedicines and bioprocesses.

Examples of current and recently completed bioindustrial academic collaborations:

  • High-throughput CHO cell reprogramming for next-generation product manufacturing
  • Design and engineering of biological components for mRNA manufacturing
  • Cell and vector engineering for AAV production by HEK cells
  • Engineering gene therapies to tailor in vivo immunostimulatory responses
  • Engineering gene therapies to enhance in vivo expression duration
  • Engineering inducible expression systems for recombinant protein and AAV manufacturing systems
  • Design of synthetic genetic constructs for dendritic cell gene therapy
  • Engineering synthetic signal peptides for recombinant protein production in CHO cells
  • Design and engineering of CHO cell hosts to manufacture difficult-to-express proteins
  • Engineering synthetic promoters for recombinant protein production in CHO cells
  • Synthetic Biology Based Engineering of AAV Production by HEK Cells
  • Designing and testing synthetic genetic parts for protein production in Chinese Hamster Ovary cells
Research interests
  • Engineering synthetic genetic constructs for biopharmaceutical design and manufacturing
  • Controlling and analysing mammalian gene/protein expression
  • Engineering mammalian cell factories for biopharmaceutical production
  • Whole system engineering for biomanufacturing of therapeutic mRNA, DNA, AAV and protein products
  • Mammalian synthetic biology

I welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students and PDRAs. If you are interested in projects in any of the above research areas, contact me for further information.


Journal articles



  • Brown AJ, James DC, Gibson SJ & Hatton D (2018) In silico design of mammalian promoters with user-defined functionality. WO 2018/193072 A1 Appl. 25 Oct 2018. RIS download Bibtex download
  • James DC & Brown AJ (2015) Synthetic promoters for CHO cells, methods of producing synthetic promoters using transcription factor binding site modules. WO2015079053-A2; WO2015079053-A3 Appl. 08 Oct 2015. RIS download Bibtex download
  • James DC & Brown AJ (2014) Regulating recombinant gene expression in vitro comprises providing a host cell encoding recombinant genes for expression, and contacting the cell with an exonuclease resistant block decoy. WO2014202640-A1 Appl. 24 Dec 2014. RIS download Bibtex download



My lab is currently utilising research funding from UKRI and bioindustry (e.g., AstraZeneca, Lonza, CGTC, Takeda) to engineer synthetic biological components for i) enhanced production of therapeutic proteins, nucleic acids and viral vectors, and ii) improved in vivo performance of ATMPs.

Teaching activities

I currently lead a module on Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing (CPE336/CPE6043), and supervise 4th Year BioEng/ChemEng and MSc research projects (CPE440/CPE6011). Awards: Commendation for Teaching Excellence - 2015-16, 2016-17, 2018-19; Best Lecturer (Level 3) – 2019/20