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John Morrissey – APC Faculty




Contact details: Email:; tel: +353 (0)214902396




1990:     BSc Microbiology University College Cork

1994:     PhD European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Germany

Post-doctoral training

1995-1997:          UC Berkeley, California, USA

1997 – 2000:       John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK

Current Position

Senior Lecturer, School of Microbiology, UCC

Biographical Sketch

John Morrissey graduated in 1990 from University College Cork with a BSc in Microbiology. He subsequently moved to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany to carry out research for his PhD in the area of yeast cell biology and was awarded a PhD for this research in 1994. His post-doctoral research career brought him first to the University of California, Berkeley, USA (1995-1997) and then to the John Innes Research Centre, Norwich, UK (1998-2000). In 2000, he took up research and teaching positions at UCC and since 2003 has led his own research group of postgraduate and post-doctoral scientists working in the broad areas of microbial ecology and yeast biotechnology. His contribution to the scientific field and yeast community is exemplified by extensive paper and grant reviewing activity and membership of International committees and Boards. He currently a member of the editorial board of FEMS Yeast Research, represents Ireland on the International Commission for Yeasts (ICY), and is chair (2016-2017) of the Eukaryotic Division of the Microbiology Society.

Research Overview

The major focus of research  at present is towards the application of yeasts in food and industrial biotechnology. This spans the range from improving fundamental understanding of metabolism, gene regulation and stress tolerance to selecting and engineering strains for specific biotechnological applications.  He is interested in both Saccharomyces and non-Sacharomyces yeasts, particularly the thermotolerant yeast, Kluyveromyces marxianus. This yeast has QPS/GRAS status and is used in the food sector but also possesses traits such as thermotolerance that make it very suitable for other biotechnological application. Exploitation has been limited to date because of a lack of molecular tools and this is an aspect that is being addressed by his research. In addition, systems biology and synthetic biology approaches are being applied to help design and construct strains for use in industrial biotechnology. The research group is supported by EU and other grants and partakes in  a wide range of collaborations with partners in the EU, Brazil and Japan.


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