Professor Richard Kitney

Co-Director, Imperial College London

Key Appointments

  • Co-Founder and Co-Director of the EPSRC National Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation (CSynBI).
  • Co-Founder and Co-Director of  SynbiCITE – the Innovation and Knowledge Centre for the translation and commercialisation of synthetic biology.
  • Professor of BioMedical Systems Engineering at Imperial College London.


Professor Kitney has been working at the forefront of synthetic biology and has been pivotal in shaping its development in the UK and internationally since 2003.

He has championed synthetic biology to governments, industry, learned societies and the public. Kitney is globally recognised as pioneering in the field. Dick has been a leader of UK R&D and the translation of synthetic biology for more than a decade, promoting global synthetic biology developments.

As Chair of The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Inquiry into Synthetic Biology and a member of the UK’s Ministerial Synthetic Biology Leadership Council, Dick has driven the UK’s approach to the field and the technology, its development and its translation into industrially useful products, tools, processes and services - alongside educating future synthetic biologists. In addition to The Royal Academy of Engineering Inquiry Report (Synthetic biology – Scope, Applications and Implications, 2009), he is one of the authors of the two, subsequent, UK roadmaps for synthetic biology (A Synthetic Biology Roadmap for the UK, 2012; and Bio Design for the Bio Economy, 2016).

Dick Co-Directs - with Professor Paul Freemont – the UK’s first R&D centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation (CSynBI) and the UK’s National Industrial Translation Centre for Synthetic Biology (SynbiCITE).

He gives many keynote presentations at public lectures and international conferences – recently the IET Kelvin Lecture and the City and Guilds Fellowship Lecture.

Select Honours and memberships

  • Fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Fellow of The Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering
  • Fellow, World Technology Network
  • Fellow, The Royal Society of Medicine
  • Member of the Royal Society’s working group on synthetic biology
  • Chair of the joint inquiry by The Royal Academy of Engineering and the Academy of Medical Sciences on Synthetic and Systems Biology which produced the highly influential report
  • Member of the Ministerial Synthetic Biology Leadership Council and Chair of its Sub-Committee on Science and Technology
  • Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore

a full list can be found here

Academic Profile and Publications