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Our FdSc Microbiology students had the pleasure of welcoming experienced Biotechnologist, Tony Allman, to campus to deliver an exclusive session on recombinant technology, a scientific practice that involves altering genetic material outside an organism to manipulate DNA segments for research or production bioprocesss.

Having had a long career in Biotechnology, spanning five decades, Tony has spent many years working with Infors UK, running training courses and, more recently, producing content such as editorials and blogs. This has allowed him to pass on his years’ worth of industry knowledge to others. Additionally, he has been involved with other projects, including being part of a team of editors for a textbook on Microbiology and Biotechnology.

Eager to share what he’d learnt, Tony gave a unique insight to our students about the life cycle of an E. coli bacterium, commonly used in biotechnology, but from the perspective of the bacterium itself, discussing what the organism might “feel” as it is isolated and modified.

He then went on to explain the process of obtaining a pure bacterial culture, including how to preserve it for future use, along with safe disposal. He covered a wide range of scientific techniques, including orbital shaking using a shake flask. This technology allows cultures to be mixed and agitated for enhanced growth. This led to describing how the use of fermenters can further promote growth and productivity.

Tony was keen to visit our students after seeing Microbiologist Dr John Kerry’s recent visit. Eager to share his own experiences, he told us “It was a real pleasure to meet the Microbiology students at University Centre St Helens. Having 50 years of involvement in this exciting period of Microbiology and Biotechnology development, I am pleased I can provide such a unique insight for the students, and I’m glad I can carry on my enthusiasm for such an important technology.”

Tony Allman Visit1