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Dr Payam Mehrshahi

Senior Research Associate
Dr Payam Mehrshahi
Department of Plant Sciences
University of Cambridge
Downing Street

Cambridge CB2 3EA
Office Phone: 01223 330219


Payam received his undergraduate degree in Plant Biotechnology from the University of Nottingham with an intercalated year at Syngenta and the John Innes Centre, Norwich.

Subsequently, Payam was awarded a PhD studentship from the Home Grown Cereal Association and The University of Nottingham to study the mechanisms for folate (vitamin B9) homeostasis in plants, which is essential for plant metabolism and development. Payam’s PhD research resulted in four publications and his PhD thesis was awarded the University of Nottingham Award for the best PhD thesis in Plant Sciences.

Payam continued his research interest in plant metabolism and characterisation of mechanisms involved in subcellular compartmentation of metabolic reactions at Michigan State University, in the group of Prof. Dean DellaPenna.  Payam’s research was presented at the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Plant Metabolic Engineering (2011, USA) and the GRC on Mitochondria and Chloroplasts (2014, Italy) where on both occasions he was awarded the prize for best poster presentation. Payam’s research, which was published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Science and Trends in Plant Sciences, with the former article being listed in the faculty of 1000.  Payam was also an invited speaker at both the American Society for Plant Biology meeting (2012, USA) and GRC on Plant Metabolic Engineering (2013, USA).

In June 2015, Payam joined the Plant Metabolism group at the University of Cambridge and has been using synthetic biology principles for metabolic engineering of microalgae. To achieve this, Payam is developing and testing riboswitch-centric genetic circuits that allow fine-tuning of target metabolic pathways in the microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii with the intention of production of high-value compounds.

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The Department has carried out a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment process and has opened to allow research work to take place. To ensure the safety of our staff, a range of measures to reduce building occupancy and allow strict social distancing have been introduced, including increased cleaning and hygiene regimes. We are currently not accepting visitors so please continue to contact us by email until further notice.