The MeMBrane project aims to improve the tolerance of microbes to the stresses encountered during industrial bioprocesses by modifying the cell membranes.

Working with yeast and Propionibacterium, the project will use synthetic biology to progress and exploit our understanding of the toxicity challenges to improve efficiency and product yield of engineered cell-based factories. Membrane composition will be modelled in silico and tested in in vitro systems. Strains successfully validated at lab scale will be tested at pilot scale by our industrial partners, Lallemand and Pakmaya.

As part of our research, we are trying to find out what makes some yeast able to withstand more alcohol or sugar than others. By understanding what makes some strains more tolerant we can potentially develop improved strains that may produce stronger beers or wines or be suitable for biofuel production.

Visit the SuperYeast page on SchoolScience


The MeMBrane website has details of our project and, in particular, the outreach activities on the News and Events page: 

We also promote careers in Biochemistry with young people - see our You Tube video and maybe download the Futurum article about Alan Goddard, a biochemist seeking to use yeast and bacteria to replace fossil fuels.  This article was produced by Futurum, a magazine and online platform aimed at inspiring young people to follow a career in the sciences, research and technology. For more information, teaching resources, and course and career guides, see

We have produced a board game about microbes and defences against them called Microstrike. Email MeMBrane for your free copy (while stocks last). There are also Microstrike factfiles you can download to use with your students.

There is a book we're hoping to have printed soon:

 Our twitter account is @CobioMeMBrane and the SuperYeast account is @YeastSuper