School of Biomedical Sciences
Professor Ibrahim Banat completed his PhD at the University of Essex in 1982 and has more than 30 years experience in industrial microbiology and Biotechnological application in research, industrial and academic establishments in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Italy and the UK. Professor Banat has established collaborations with industry and academic institutions both national and internationally. At present he holds a professorship chair at Ulster University. His main areas of research are microbial biosurfactants’ production and their biotechnological and industrial application for environmental, pharmaceutical and health related areas. He has also been involved in research areas related to petroleum and hydrocarbon microbiology, microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR), bioremediation, ethanol and biofuel production. Professor Banat has over 200 publications in international refereed journals, books and symposium proceedings.
Professor Banat is a recognised expert in the use of biosurfactants for pharmaceutical and environmental applications. He is involved in research which aims to develop a generic platform technology for the fermentative production of biosurfactants using metabolically engineered yeasts strains equipped with new combinations of genes and pathways to synthesize tailor-made and new-to-nature biosurfactants. Such compounds are screened for their direct and indirect antimicrobial effect, effect on biofilm formation, immunomodulating effects, wound healing properties and anti-cancer activity. Another area of interest is investigating how novel biosurfactants, dispersants and sorbent materials, particularly those of biological origin can be used in the treatment of oil spills in marine and terrestrial environments.
Rhamnolipids and nutrients boost remediation of crude oil contaminated soil by enhancing bacterial colonization and metabolic activities International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation Date: (2017)
Enhanced rhamnolipid production in Burkholderia thailandensis transposon knockout strains deficient in polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthesis Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology Date: (2017)
Polyhydroxyalkanoates: Properties and chemical modification approaches for their functionalization Biotechnology Progress Date: (2017)