The Deep Branch team currently consists of the three original co-founders; Bart Pander, Pete Rowe and Rob Mansfield. The three met whilst completing their PhDs at the University of Nottingham’s Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SBRC).
As Deep Branch’s technical lead, Bart uses his deep knowledge of microbiology and gas fermentation to drive forward our process development. He has over five years’ experience working with gas fermenting microbes, both in terms of molecular characterisation and fermentation optimisation.
Bart studied biology at the Groningen University and prior to returning to academia at the SBRC, he followed his passion for science communication working as grammar school biology teacher. His PhD was jointly funded by LanzaTech, pioneers in the use of gas fermentation for generation of biofuels and consisted of bench-scale research to better inform fermentation at commercial scale. Following his PhD, Bart took a position at in Dr James Chong’s lab at The University of York.
Despite being a proud Frisian, Bart is happy to admit there is much he loves about his adoptive Britain. Having spent the last five years on the doorstep of the Peak District, he is most at home enjoying a well-earned pub lunch with his young family following walk in breathtaking English scenery.
Pete is Deep Branch’s point man. He has experience in both technical and business development roles within biotechnology startups and spent his PhD developing novel genome editing tools for gas fermenting bacteria. He has undergone extensive training at AT Kearney’s IMP3prove Academy, Europe’s leading innovation management specialist, which has provided a strong strategic foundation to drive Deep Branch forward.
Pete has worked with a broad range of microbes in a lab setting, and his academic work has mainly focused on developing CRISPR-Cas systems for genome editing in bacteria. As well as adapting the widely used CRISPR-Cas9 system (from S. pyogenes) for a range of anaerobic bacteria, Pete has also characterised the native CRISPR systems of gas fermenting bacteria, providing a platform for them to be developed as genome editing tools.
In his spare time, Pete is an avid sportsman, keen traveller and enthusiastic cook. He lives between the UK and The Netherlands where he is slowly learning the native language of his in-laws.
Rob is Deep Branch’s polymath. As well as having over five years’ experience in research and development of gas fermentation technologies, Rob has a broad base of knowledge across genetics, microbiology, biochemistry and chemistry. Aside from his multi-disciplinary scientific background, Rob has direct experience in IP litigation within the biotechnology sector. Rob worked as an in-house science analyst for Allen and Overy in their London office. During this time, Rob gained key insight into both the due diligence process for patents and IP strategy.
Rob earned a PhD in molecular microbiology from the University of Nottingham’s Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SBRC). During this time, he collaborated extensively with the Shanghai Institute of Biosciences, where he spent time as a visiting researcher and liaised with Chinese researchers whilst they worked in Nottingham. During his PhD, Rob conducted extensive research in the fields of microbial genetic engineering and gas fermentation, and became a specialist in the development of genetic tools for engineering recalcitrant microbial strains of commercial interest. Before starting Deep Branch, he continued this work as a Research Fellow at the SBRC.
In his spare time, Rob is a keen footballer, sailor, boulderer and tech enthusiast. When time allows, Rob loves to spend time in skiing in the French Alps.