Eriko Takano

Eriko Takano, PhD


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Eriko Takano is Professor of Synthetic Biology in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, Department of Chemistry, School of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, at the University of Manchester. She is one of three directors for the EPSRC/BBSRC-funded Manchester Synthetic Biology Research Centre, SYNBIOCHEM. Since 2017, she is the Section Head of Chemical Biology and Biological Chemistry and in 2018 to present, she is the Deputy Head of the Chemistry Department.

Eriko is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the synthetic biology of microbes for antibiotic production. She has been working in both industrial and academic Streptomyces research for 26 years. She studied pharmacy at Kitasato University, School of Pharmacy, Tokyo, Japan. After working as a researcher at the Department of Genetics of Meiji Seika Kaisha, Yokohama, Japan, for four years, she moved to the John Innes Center, Norwich, UK, where she obtained her PhD from the University of East Anglia in 1994 and worked as a postdoc in the Molecular Microbiology department until 2002. After three years as Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology / Biotechnology, University of Tübingen, Germany, she was appointed as a Rosalind Franklin Fellow in Microbial Physiology at the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB), University of Groningen, The Netherlands in 2006 and as an Associate Professor in Synthetic Microbiology at 2010. Since September 2012 she is Professor of Synthetic Biology at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology and from 2014 the Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology Research Theme Director in Faculty of Life Sciences.

Areas of expertise of the Takano group include the synthetic biology of antibiotic production: bioinformatics software development (e.g. antiSMASH, MultiGeneBlast); untargeted metabolomics for chassis engineering in Streptomyces; regulatory circuits engineering through signalling molecules; translational control using noncoding RNAs; biosynthetic pathway assembly and engineering; systems biology of the metabolic switch from primary to secondary metabolism; regulation of antibiotic production through signalling molecules and noncoding RNAs in Streptomyces coelicolor, the model organism of the most important group of industrial antibiotics producers.

Present and past funding include UKRI, NERC EPSRC, BBSRC, H2020, DSTL, ERA-IB Terpenosome, STW (the Dutch Research Agency, Technology Foundation), NWO (The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research), BE-Basic, EraSysBio SysMO-STREAM, EUFP6 ActinoGEN, DFG.

She has been awarded the Rosalind Franklin Fellowship from the University of Groningen (2006), Naito Kinen Kaigai Ryigaku Jyoseikin from the Naito Foundation Japan (1994), Lepetit Award from Lepetit and the Italian Society for General Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology (1993).

Eriko is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and Royal Society of Chemistry. She has served as an expert advisor for the European Commission Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks of synthetic biology, where she contributed to a series of three official Opinions with major impact on the development of the field.


2020 – 2022 Visiting Professor World Research Hub Initiative (WRHI) at School of Life Science and Technology, Tokyo Technology Institute, Tokyo, Japan

2018 – 2020 Visiting Professor at Laboratory of Bio-resource Engineering, Department of Advanced Science and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Osaka, Japan collaborating together with Prof. E. Fukusaki on microbial metabolomics

2018 – present        Faculty of Science and Engineering, Deputy Head of School of Chemistry

2017 – present        Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Chemistry, Chemical Biology and Biological Chemistry Section Head

2017-2021    Coordinator of H2020 TOPCAPI: Thoroughly Optimised Production Chassis for Advanced Pharmaceutical Ingredients project

2014-present  BBSRC, EPSRC funded Manchester Synthetic Biology Research Centre, SYNBIOCHEM, Director

2014-2016     Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology Research Theme Director, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, UK

2011-present   Professor of Synthetic Biology, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, UK

2010–2011   Associate Professor (permanent) in Synthetic Microbiology, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB), University of Groningen, The Netherlands

2006–2010   Assistant Professor (tenure track), Rosalind Franklin Fellow, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB), University of Groningen, The Netherlands

2002–2005   Assistant Professor (C1), Department of Microbiology / Biotechnology, University of Tübingen, Biological Institute, Germany

1994–2002   Postdoctoral fellow, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK

1989–1990   Assistant scientific officer, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK

1985–1989   Research assistant at Meiji Seika Kaisha Ltd, Central Reserach Center, Department of Genetics, Yokohama, Japan

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, ppGpp and antibiotic production in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2), University of East Anglia


Bachelor of Pharmacy, Kitasato University, School of Pharmacy


Areas of expertise

  • Q Science (General)
  • Microbiology
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Antimicrobial discovery
  • Streptomyces
  • fine and speciality chemicals

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Biotechnology
  • Sustainable Futures
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute
  • Manchester Institute of Biotechnology


  • Synthetic Biology
  • Antibiotics
  • Streptomyces
  • Fine and Speciality Chemicals
  • Antimicrobial discovery
  • Secondary metabolite biosynthesis pathways
  • Untargeted metabolonics
  • Signalling molecules


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