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Dr Meng Zhang

Associate Professor

Department: Applied Sciences

Dr Meng Zhang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Scinece. She studied BSc in Biotechnology at ShanDong Agriculture University, which included a half year research project at Shandong Academy of Agricultural Science. Meng came to England and study for a master’s 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 Analysis of Streptococci Pathogens' at Northumbria University. After her PhD, Meng stayed in Northumbria University as a Post-doctoral Research Associate and continually worked on Proteomics for one year.  

At end of 2007, Meng started her postdoctoral research in Biocatalysis which using biological systems, bacterial cells and enzymes to convert chemicals to high value products. She acted as R&D manager in Nzomics Biocatalysis, which is a university enterprise in Northumbria. In the duration of 6 years, she has successfully completed one Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project, and two Innovation Vouchers projects. In addition, she has managed many commercial research projects for national and international clients including GSK, Kraft Foods, Almac Sciences, Prozomix, and Hycagen. Based on her university based commercial experience, Meng did a part-time MBA in Newcastle Business School, and her dissertation research focus on Influence Factors of Knowledge Transfer Activities in the UK University. 

From 2010, Meng began lecturing in Department of Applied Sciences, Health and Life Science faculty, and she became a full-time lecturer in 2013. She continuously built up her biocatalysis research by collaborating with various academic and industrial partners and at same time she started to establish new interdisciplinary research interest in BioDesign. 

Based on her work in BioDesign, along with colleagues from Architect and Engineer, they were successful won £8M strategic funding from Research England to establish the world first research centre ‘Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment’. Within the Hub, she co-lead Living Construction theme, and work as biological expert on all the research projects. She also initiated and organised the Biodesign Challenge European Hub and establish Biodesign European network. To push Biodesign research agenda, she is also co-leading ‘Biodesign for Bioeconomy’ research theme in Northumbria as one of multidisciplinary research themes (MDRTs).

I have been Co-I and Co-PI on three EPSRC funded projects Computational Colloids (EP/N005791/1) and Thinking Soils (EP/R003629/1, EP/R003777/1) on the topic of Engineered bacteria as computational agents in the design and manufacture of new materials and structures through MICP and Principles for a Microbial 3D Printer (EP/V050710/1). 

 

 

 

Meng Zhang

Campus Address

EBA501
Ellison Building


Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Dr Meng Zhang is currently co-lead in the Living Contruction research group in HBBE. Her research focuses on applying microbial biotechnology to the built environment, particularly in the living construction which aim to develop design methods and processes which embrace the complexity of biological systems and digital fabrication. The key to her research is seeing growth as a manufacturing process, producing materials’ properties which are enhanced as a result of the use of these biological system through sensing, responsive of living cells.

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Bacterial spore based hygromorphs: A novel active material with potential for architectural applications, Birch, E., Bridgens, B., Zhang, M., Dade-Robertson, M. 5 Apr 2021, In: Sustainability
  • Designing a Living Material Through Bio-Digital-Fabrication: Guiding the growth of fungi through a robotic system, Ozkan, D., Dade-Robertson, M., Morrow, R., Zhang, M. Sep 2021, Towards a new, configurable architecture, Brussels, Education and Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe (eCAADe)
  • Turbulent Casting: Bacterial Expression in Mineralized Structures, Arnardottir, T., Dade-Robertson, M., Mitrani, H., Zhang, M., Christgen, B. 10 Feb 2021, In: ACADIA
  • Agarose gel as a soil analogue for the development of advanced bio-mediated soil improvement methods, Corral, J., Mitrani, H., Dade-Robertson, M., Zhang, M., Maiello, P. 1 Dec 2020, In: Canadian Geotechnical Journal
  • Acupuncture as a multifunctional neuroprotective therapy ameliorates cognitive impairment in a rat model of vascular dementia: a quantitative iTRAQ proteomics study, Yang, J., Wang, X., Zhang, M., Xiao, L., Zhu, W., Ji, C., Liu, C. 11 Nov 2018, In: CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics
  • Design and modelling of an engineered bacteria-based, pressure-sensitive soil, Dade-Robertson, M., Mitrani, H., Corral, J., Zhang, M., Hernan, L., Guyet, A., Wipat, A. 24 May 2018, In: Bioinspiration and Biomimetics
  • Mild hydrostatic pressure triggers oxidative responses in Escherichia coli, Guyet, A., Dade-Robertson, M., Wipat, A., Casement, J., Smith, W., Mitrani, H., Zhang, M. 17 Jul 2018, In: PLoS One
  • Architects of nature: growing buildings with bacterial biofilms, Dade-Robertson, M., Keren-Paz, A., Zhang, M., Kolodkin-Gal, I. 1 Sep 2017, In: Microbial Biotechnology
  • Synthetic Biological Construction: Beyond ‘bioinspired’ in the design of new materials and fabrication systems, Dade-Robertson, M., Rodriguez Corral, R., Guyet, A., Mitrani, H., Wipat, A., Zhang, M. Jun 2017, 3rd International Conference Biodigital: Architecture & Genetics
  • Thinking Soils: a synthetic biology approach to material-based design computation, Dade-Robertson, M., Corral, J., Mitrani, H., Zhang, M., Wipat, A., Ramirez-Figueroa, C., Hernan, L. 29 Oct 2016, ACADIA 2016 Conference

PGR Supervision

  • Jenifer Mariya Francis The Study Of Streptococcal Pathogenesis using Proteomic and Metabolomic Approaches Start Date: 08/12/2015
  • Jamie Haystead The Investigation of Microbial Induced Calcium Carbonate Precipitation for Soil Improvement Start Date: 01/10/2018
  • Jennifer Wright The study of the activation of Bacillus subtilis urease in vivo. Start Date: 01/10/2016
  • Nicola Cowley Isolation of the acaricide metabolising cytochrome P450s from the cattle tick, Rhipicephalus microplus, to improve the efficacy of control methods. Start Date: 13/08/2019

Qualifications

  • Business and Administration MBA July 06 2011
  • Biochemistry PhD November 13 2006
  • Environmental Studies/Science MSc December 02 2002
  • Applied Biology BSc July 02 2001
  • Full Ordinary Member Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM) 2002


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