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Dr Meng Zhang

Senior Lecturer

Department: Applied Sciences

Meng studied for her BSc in Biotechnology at ShanDong Agriculture University, China, between 1997-2001, which included a half year research project at Shandong Academy of Agricultural Science.


Meng studied for her BSc in Biotechnology at ShanDong Agriculture University, China, between 1997-2001, which included a half year research project at Shandong Academy of Agricultural Science. Meng came to England and study for a Masters degree in Health, Environment and Development at Sunderland University between 2001 and 2002. She was then rewarded Overseas Research Scholarship by UK Universities, and studied her PhD in Proteomics research in Northumbria University under the supervision of Prof. Gary Black. After her PhD, Meng stayed in Northumbria University  as a Post-doctoral Research Associate and continually worked on Proteomics for 1 year. At end of 2007, Meng started as R&D manager in Nzomics Biocatalysis, which is a university enterprise in Northumbria. Based on her commercial experience, Meng did a part-time MBA in Newcastle Business School. From 2010, Meng began lecturing in Biomedical Sciences.

Academically, Meng has published several papers in both Proteomics and Molecular Biology. She has successfully supervised one Master of Research students independently and co-supervised several PhD students. Meng has successfully completed one Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project, and two Innovation Vouchers projects. In addition, she has managed many commercial research projects in Nzomics for national and international clients including GSK, Kraft Foods, Almac Sciences, Prozomix, and Hycagen.

Meng’s research interests revolve around (a) the expression of recombinant enzymes in Escherichia coli  and Pichia Pastoris and their biochemical and structural characterisation and (b) proteomics, including the development of advanced methods in Proteomics  research and study of pathogenic virulence factors. Specifically Meng is interested in biocatalysis enzymes such as nitrile hydratases, nitrilases, amidases, lipases, glycosyl transferases and cytochrome P450s; and biofuel /biorefinery enzymes such as xylanases, and carbohydrate-active enzymes in general such as hyaluronate lyases and pectate lyases. Proteomic research is focussed on study of streptococcal pathogens virulence factors, and developing 2 dimensional LC based method. Meng is also interested in understanding the heterogeneity of recombinant proteins expressed in E. coli.

Meng Zhang

Campus Address

Ellison Building


Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My research interests revolve around (a) Omics study of streptococcal pathogens; combining proteomic and metabolomic approach to study virulence factors from Group A, B and C streptococcus pathogens (b) biocatalysis and biotransformation, including production of recombinant enzymes in Escherichia coli and Pichia Pastoris, study of kinetics and thermodynamics of biocatalytic processes and biocatalysts improvement using genetic modification; (c) applying synthetic biology to construct biochemical pathways and scale up bioprocess such as biocementation.


MBA, PhD, MSc, BSc

Sponsors and Collaborators

Technology Strategy Board

Total Lab Ltd

Biocatalysts Ltd

Celbius Ltd


Mondelez International


Newcastle University

Glasgow University

Key Publications

Black GW, Brown NL, Perry JJB, Randall DC, Turnbull G and Zhang M. Using a novel, high-throughput screening method for nitrilase activity to determine diversity of nitrilase substrate selectivity. Chemical Communications. Submitted

Dade-Robertson M, Ramirez-Figueroa C, Zhang M. Radical Vernacular: Bacterial Architecture on Mars. Journal of the British Interplanetary Society. In press.

Dade-Robertson M, Figueroa C, Zhang M. (2014) Material ecologies for synthetic biology: Biomineralization and the state space of design. Computer-Aided Design,

Dade-Robertson M, Zhang M, Figueroa C, Hernan L, Beattie J, Lyon A, Ryden M, and Welford M. (2013) Proto-materials: Material Practices in Architecture at Molecular and Cellular Scales. In: Michael Stacey, ed. Prototyping Architecture. London: Building Centre Trust.211-223.

Malik V, Zhang M, Dover LG, Northen JS, Flinn A, Perry JJ and Black GW (2013) Sterol 3β-glucosyltransferase biocatalysts with a range of selectivities, including selectivity for testosterone. Molecular Biosystems 9, 2816-2822.

Yang Q, Porter AJ, Zhang M, Harrington DJ, Black GW and Sutcliffe IC (2012) The impact of pH and nutrient stress on the growth and survival of Streptococcus agalactiae. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek International Journal of General and Molecular Microbiology 102, 277–287.



Current/Recent Projects

2013 PhD studentship. Project entitled ‘The study of stretpcoccal pathogensis using proteomic and metabolomics approaches’.

2013 TSB Feasibility Study with Celbius Ltd. Project entitled 'Pathway Engineering for Sustainable Aromatic Chemicals'.

2013 TSB Feasibility Study with Chemoxy International Ltd and Biocatalysts Ltd. Project entitled 'Green Synthesis of Dibasic Acids using Biocatalysis'.

2011 Mondelez International funded project entitled ‘synthesis of amylose from cellobiose and/or glucose via UDP glucose’.

2009 One NorthEast MRes Studentship. Project entitled ‘Cloning and characterization of Self-sufficient Cytochrome P450s’.


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