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Dr Colin Scott

Pronouns: he,him,his

CSIRO BioFoundry Director


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GPO BOX 1700


Colin was born in Scotland. He obtained a BSc (hon) in Genetics from the University of Wales in 1996 and a PhD in Molecular Microbiology from Sheffield University (England) in 2000.

Colin has an strong interest in the use of advanced biological engineering (Engineering Biology/Synthetic Biology) to deliver technological solutions for the most pressing issues facing Australia and the world. He moved to CSIRO Entomology in Canberra in 2004 as a post-doctoral fellow, engineering enzymes to clean-up toxic environmental contaminants. For the last two decades he has contributed to CSIRO's efforts in Engineering Biology through the development of a number of initiatives, including the Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform (2016-2022) and the Advanced Engineering Biology Future Science Platform (2022-present).

Colin is currently the Director of CSIRO's BioFoundry - a cutting edge, high-throughput Engineering Biology/Synthetic Biology facility that provides a platform to accelerate discovery and bioengineering for the emerging bioeconomy. With a suite of specialist equipment to meet the needs of high-throughput bioengineering projects, the BioFoundry is open to projects with industry, government and academia. Such facilities are helping engineering biology transition to faster, more effective delivery of new technologies to support the emergence of the bioeconomy, which promises cleaner and more efficient approaches to providing goods and services to Australia.

Colin maintains an active research program that investigates, engineer and harness the biochemical and metabolic diversity found in nature. Enzymes are nature's nanotechnology: nanoscale machines that carry out all of the chemical reactions needed for life to survive and prosper. Evolution has produced a countless number of these chemical reactions, and as the world continues to evolve, so do the enzymes, responding to the introduction of new molecules with new functions. Colin's projects focus on harnessing these enzymes for applications such as biocatalysis (making chemicals) and bioremediation (cleaning up pollution).

Current Roles

  • CSIRO BioFoundry Director
    Leading CSIRO's cutting edge, automated bioengineering facility

Academic Qualifications

  • 2000

    PhD in Molecular Microbioogy
    University of Sheffield

  • 1996

    BSc (Hon) in Genetics
    University of Aberystwyth

Professional Experiences

  • 2021-2022

    Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform Director

  • 2017-2022

    Research Team Leader

  • 2017-2021

    Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform Executive

  • 2016-2017

    Future Science Platform Director (interim)

  • 2012-2017

    Research Group Leader

  • 2008-2012

    Research Team Leader

  • 2004-2008

    Post-doctoral Research Fellow

  • 2000-2004

    Post-doctoral Research Fellow
    University of Sheffield

Achievements and Awards

  • 2010-2013

    Julius Award

Other highlights

  • 2020-Present

    Adjunct Professor - Queensland University of Technology

  • 2010-Present

    Editor - Biodegradation (Spinger)