I am the Director of the Biorefinery Centre situated on the Norwich Research Park, and Associate Director of the Norwich Research Park Industrial Biotechnology Alliance. My current research interests include development of biofuels, platform and bioactive chemicals from agri-food chain waste biomass, therefore avoiding a conflict with food production. The Biorefinery Centre is closely allied with the National Collection of Yeast Cultures, also located on the Norwich Research Park.

My research comprises an integrated approach to characterizing and improving plant and microbial cell wall components on the one hand, through to the conversion of low-cost sugars from biomass to fuels, chemicals and bioactive moieties through fermentation on the other.  These approaches are underpinned by novel rapid-throughput phenotyping methodologies and involve close integration and exploitation of the National Collection of Yeast Cultures – a unique facility housing over 4000 yeast strains which have huge untapped potential in the areas of industrial biotechnology and renewable feedstocks. This will not only enable innovative exploration of yeast genomic space by the wider scientific community, particularly those active in the area of industrial biotechnology and bioscience for health, but will also expedite and enhance the IP pipeline.

I was enormously proud to be recognised as the BBSRC’s Most Promising Innovator of the Year in 2011 and to subsequently patent this work which is now being brought to industry through translational funding.

I have published over 200 papers and have a strong track record of working with food and health industries and the farming community as well as extensive national and international collaborations that will maintain and facilitate commercial impact as we move towards the opening of the new QI building. I have also served as a member of the New Anglia LEP Green Economy Pathfinder Board since 2011 and am an Editorial Board member for the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture and Food Biophysics.

Key Publications

Miller C.N., Harper A.L., Trick M., Werner P., Waldron K., Bancroft I. (2016) Elucidation of the genetic basis of variation for stem strength characteristics in bread wheat by Associative Transcriptomics BMC Genomics 17 500

Wood I.P., Cook N., Wilson D.R., Ryden P., Robertson J., Waldron K.W. (2016) Ethanol from a biorefinery waste stream: saccharification of amylase, protease and xylanase treated wheat bran.  Food Chemistry 198 125-131

Wood I.P., Wellner N., Elliston A., Wilson D., Bancroft I., Waldron K. (2015) Effect of Brassica napus cultivar on cellulosic ethanol yield Biotechnology for Biofuels 8 99

Elliston A., Wood I. P., Soucouri M. J., Tantale R. J., Dicks J., Roberts I. N., Waldron K.W. (2015) Methodology for enabling high-throughput simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) screening of yeast using solid biomass as a substrate Biotechnology for Biofuels 28 2

Collins S. R. A., Wellner N., Martinez I., Harper A., Miller C., Bancroft I., Waldron K.W. (2014) Variation in the chemical composition of wheat straw: the role of tissue ratio and composition Biotechnology for Biofuels 7 121

Wood I. P., Pearson B., Garcia Gutierrez E., Havlickova L., He Z., Harper A. L., Bancroft I., Waldron K. W.. (2017)

Carbohydrate microarrays and their use for the identification of molecular markers for plant cell wall composition

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Early Edition , doi:10.1073/pnas.1619033114

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Pereira P. H. F., Waldron K. W., Wilson D. R., Cunha A. P., de Brito E. S., Rodrigues T. H. S., Rosa M. F., Azeredo H. M. C.. (2017)

Wheat straw hemicelluloses added with cellulose nanocrystals and citric acid. Effect on film physical properties

Carbohydrate Polymers, 164, 317-324

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Oliveira T., Rosa M., Ridout M., Cross K., Sousa de Brito E., Silva L., Mazzetto S., Waldron K., Azeredo H.. (2017)

Bionanocomposite films based on polysaccharides from banana peels

International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 101, 1-8

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Ryden P., Efthymiou M. N., Tindyebwa T. A. M., Elliston A., Wilson D. R., Waldron K. W., Malakar P. K.. (2017)

Bioethanol production from spent mushroom compost derived from chaff of millet and sorghum

Biotechnology for Biofuels, 10, 195

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Grassby T., Mandalari G., Grundy M. M. L., Edwards C. H., Bisignano C., Trombetta D., Smeriglio A., Chessa S., Ray S., Sanderson J., Berry S. E., Ellis P. R., Waldron K. W.. (2017)

In vitro and in vivo modeling of lipid bioaccessibility and digestion from almond muffins: The importance of the cell-wall barrier mechanism

Journal of Functional Foods, 37, 263-271

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Collins S. R. A., Wilson D. R., Moates G. K., Harper A. L., Bancroft I., Waldron K.. (2017)

Variation across a wheat genetic diversity panel for saccharification of hydrothermally pretreated straw

Biotechnology for Biofuels, 10, 227

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Rowe S. F., Le Gall G., Ainsworth E. V., Davies J. A., Lockwood C. W. J., Shi L., Elliston A., Roberts I. N., Waldron K. W., Richardson D. J., Clarke T. A., Jeuken L. J. C., Reisner E., Butt J. N.. (2017)

Light-Driven H2 Evolution and C=TC or C=TO Bond Hydrogenation by Shewanella oneidensis: A Versatile Strategy for Photocatalysis by Nonphotosynthetic Microorganisms

ACS Catalysis, 7, 7558-7566

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Wood I. P., Garcia-Gutierrez E., Wellner K., Waldron K.. (2017)

Feedstock selection for polymer and chemical production: feedstock-specific recalcitrance

Faraday Discussions, 202, 391-402

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Life Sciences Minister tours The Biorefinery Centre

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