Research Focus

The Marcellin Group, led by Group Leader Dr Esteban Marcellin, is dedicated to developing systems metabolic engineering toolboxes, with the goal of better understanding biological cells to enhance the production of fuels, chemicals and biopharmaceuticals. Systems metabolic engineering incorporates the concepts and techniques of systems biology, synthetic biology and bioprocess optimisation, offering a framework to modify pathways and bioprocesses for the optimal bioproduction of desired products.

Characterising cells at the molecular level to efficiently manufacture natural and non-natural bioproducts is possible through multi-omics data integration using computational models. The Group’s research aims to integrate multi-omics data to accelerate the design of cells into efficient biological factories.

The Group has recently established a state-of-the-art gas fermentation facility, unique in Australia, which enables fermenting methane and syngas in instrumented fermenters.




  • Sustainable biosensors

    Conductive hydrogel is a 3D structural gel with high water content and electrically conductive materials e.g. metallic nanoparticles.

  • Smart and active packaging

    The higher demand for healthy, safe and fresh products promotes the search for the development of active packaging systems to extend the food shelf life and monitor the quality of packed food.

  • Intelligent medical textiles

    This research project advances our sustainable medical textiles stream to develop intelligent textiles that contain bioactive nanofiber and stimuli-responsive nanomaterials to detect the virus and bacteria and disinfect them.

  • Cellulose-based conductive hydrogels

    The primary objective of this project is to address several current barriers that impede the reliability and performance of conductive hydrogels: lack of a reliable organic template for the controlled growth of metal nanorods; limited knowledge on the fabrication of metal-based nanocomposite syst