Contact details

E-mail: a.p.s.darlington (at)

Current address: Doctoral Training Centre, Rex Richards Building, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QU

Current activities

I am currently based in Oxford studying a range of foundation and advanced modules in modern synthetic biology. On completion of the taught component I will return to University of Warwick to carryout rotation projects before selecting a set of questions which will from my substantive PhD research.

Research interests


2014-present: PhD candidate in Synthetic Biology, University of Warwick

2014-present: Post-graduate training programme in Synthetic Biology, University of Oxford

2013-2014: MSci Systems Biology, University of Cambridge First

2010-2013: BA (Hons) Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge 2.1

Research Experience

2014 Thesis: Anthranilate fluorescence as a consequence of energy stress in S. cerevisiae
Supervisor: Prof. Oliver, Dept. of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge
12 week MSci research project using metabolic engineering techniques to investigate anthranilate production by energy stressed S. cerevisiae. Combined wet-laboratory work with in silico analysis of metabolic fluxes using MATLAB. Identified the key redistributions of carbon flux that lead to overproduction of anthranilate by these energy stressed strains.

2014 Project: Utilising a synthetic system to model cellular interpretation of morphogen gradients
Two week miniproject carried out project with three other students as part of MSci. Successfully used particle-based simulation software Smoldyn to remodel a synthetic patterning system previously described. Additional stability analyses where carried out using MATLAB and BioModel Analyser. Carried out molecular level interrogation of the system, e.g. analysis of gene expression state over time. Tested proposed methods of modifying the existing system to generate more elaborate patterns. Final model presented at departmental mini-conference.

2013: 8 week research placement in School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick
Worked in the lab of Dr Hebenstreit investigating whether the formation of gene loops is the cause of transcriptional noise. Carried out a variety of assays including qPCR, smRNA-FISH chromatin conformation capture and FACS.

2013: 8 week research project for BA Natural Sciences
Worked in the group of Dr Micklem, Dept. of Genetics, University of Cambridge, carrying out an in silico re-assessment of the results of a genome-wide association study regarding obesity-associated variants utilising the metabolicMine platform. Assimilated data from phenotypic characterisation of mouse models, and pathway and gene ontology annotations. Identified a variety of biologically plausible candidate loci which did not reach genome-wide significance in the original meta-analysis.

2013: 4 week literature based research for BA Natural Sciences
Carried out a literature review to gather evidience for the hypothesis that centromeres evolved from telomeres under under the supervision of Dr Farr, Dept. of Genetics, University of Cambridge. 

2012: 6 week research placement in Dept. of Medicine, University of Cambridge
Worked in the lab of Prof. Alan Cuthbert, investigating the neural innervation of submucosal glands and epithelium of the airways in sheep using pharmacological agents and neurotoxins. Techniques involved voltage clamping of tissues, measuring secretion rates by stimulating secretion and capturing images, analysis of these images with ImageJ to determine volume secreted.

Other research experience

2014: First International Systems and Synthetic Biology Summer School, Taormina, Sicily, Italy
2014: Synthetic Biology Mini-Conference as part of MSci
2013: BIOLEDGE Consortium Workshop: Modelling for Industrial Biotechnology
2013: Dept. of Genetics Research Open Day as part of BA
2009: American Association for the Advancement of Science Conference, Chicago, IL


2014: Joint EPSRC and BBSRC studentship for Synthetic Biology CDT
2014: Elected to the position of Scholar at Downing Collge in the University of Cambridge
2014: Thomas Book Prize for MSci exam results
2012: Bill Willetts Fund Grant for undertaking research in lab. of Prof. Cuthbert
2010: Lord Lieutenants Award, Solihull School for outstanding all round achievement
2008: Diana, Princess of Wales, Award for individuals who inspire others


Cuthbert, AW, Murthy, M and Darlington, APS (2015) Neural control of submucosal gland and apical membrane secretions in airways. Physiol. Rep. 3(6) e12398    doi:10.14814/phy2.12398