My name is Dominic Thomas and I am currently completing a PhD on the production of high-value red Basidiomycetes yeast biomass from lignocellulose and animal fat materials for fish feed applications.
My master’s degree was on the production of xylitol by the oleaginous yeast Y. lipolytica. It was a master’s research project that was fully funded by the BBSRC the UK’s largest non-medical bioscience research council. Although the focus of the project was on maximising the yield Xylitol from Y. lipolytica with computer modelling and microbiological methods. It also focused on using affordable feedstock for the process such as crude glycerol and hemicellulose fractions from sugarcane bagasse.
In between my masters and my bachelors, I also worked in the very busy microbiology department of Shrewsbury’s NHS hospital. I worked as part of a reasonably large team of 20+ individuals, utilising imaging techniques, Elisa tests and blood sample culturing to obtain data from many samples.
My bachelor’s degree is in genetics and molecular biology and covered a broad range of topics. My final project was on detecting the expression levels of molecular subtype determining genes in glioblastoma cell cultures. This was completed using Primer design, RNA extraction, cDNA synthesis, semi-quantitative real-time PCR, agarose gel electrophoresis and computational analysis to determine the expression levels of these genes. The Degree also contained modules such as Molecular Biosciences, Human Evolution, Evolution, and the origin of life, Cellular and Organismal Biosciences, Molecular Biosciences, Proteins, and Proteomics. I also worked in Prague during a yearlong Erasmus placement during my bachelors where I worked on various projects such as making Arabidopsis thaliana express human rabies antibodies with the Goldengate 2.0 system.