Professor Emily Parker is the leader of the Synthetic and Chemical Biology Team at the Ferrier Research Institute working at the interface between chemistry and biology. Professor Parker’s research has applications for biomanufacturing and the development of new treatments against infectious disease, as well as tackling fundamental questions about the functioning of biological machinery.
Professor Parker has spearheaded New Zealand's participation in synthetic biology, leading a highly-talented, multi-institutional team in developing fungal biomanufacturing systems, including exemplifying "MIDAS". This innovative technology, developed with Callaghan Innovation, facilitates the assembly of biosynthetic components in compliant host microorganisms, surpassing existing methods in efficiency.
Professor Parker is recognised for her scientific leadership and standing in the community. She was the founding Director of the Biomolecular Interaction Centre at the University of Canterbury and is currently the Deputy Director of the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery, where she leads a programme aimed at developing new therapeutics for infectious disease targets. She is a member of a number of international science and programme advisory committees, and served on the Board of Directors for Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research Ltd and as a member of the NZ Biological Heritage Governance Group, Mana Rangitira.
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