Anne Osbourn

Deputy Director and Honorary Professor

John Innes Centre and the University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom


Anne’s discovery that the genes for many of these pathways are organised in clusters in plant genomes like ‘beads on a string’ has greatly accelerated the ability to find new pathways and chemistries of potential importance for the development of drugs and other useful compounds.

She has also developed a synthetic biology platform for rapid gram-scale production, using triterpenes as an exemplar.

Triterpene biosynthesis, enzyme and pathway discovery
Genome mining for natural product pathways
Production of natural products and analogs for drug and chemical discovery programmes
An important advance from their lab has been the discovery that genes for specialised metabolic pathways are organised in ‘operon-like’ clusters in plant genomes, a finding that has opened up new opportunities for pathway discovery through genome mining, metabolic engineering and synthetic biology.

They are also using synthetic biology approaches for cluster engineering and to make functional synthetic clusters

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