Dr. Ellis is a lead researcher at the Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation, Imperial College London and lectures synthetic biology for the Department of Bioengineering. He graduated from Oxford University and then obtained a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Cambridge before spending time in biotech screening direct interactions between drugs and promoters of oncogenes. He returned to academic research in 2005 to investigate synthetic biology at Boston University, working in one of the founding groups of the field under the supervision of Prof Jim Collins and specialising in engineering gene regulation in yeast. Dr. Ellis is now one of the world's leading yeast researchers in the growing field of synthetic biology and is the UK lead of the yeast synthetic genome project. His team also investigates bacteria and extremophiles for biotechnology and have been directly involved in supervising many successful iGEM undergraduate projects.