Personal profile

Academic Biography

Muhammad Safwan Akram is working at National Horizons Centre and School of Health and Life Sciences as a Professor of Biomanufacturing, Engineering Biology and Innovation in Biosciences. He has previously worked as Associate Professor of Biological & Process Engineering in SHLS. Prior to that he has worked as an Assistant Professor at University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Safwan obtained his PhD in Analytical
Biotechnology from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge where he also did his post-doc developing low cost diagnostics. Prior to that he completed his M.Phil
in Bioscience Enterprise under the auspices of Cambridge/MIT Partnership. His work has been published in reputed journals like Nature Biotechnology, Lab on a Chip & Annual Reviews of Analytical Chemistry. He has been awarded Medimmune Award and CambridgeSens Innovative Idea award for research excellence. He provides consultancy to venture capital funds, biotech and pharma companies. During his academic career, he has taught courses on Protein design and engineering, Recombinant DNA Technology and Stem Cells, Biosensors, Technology Enterprise and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Safwan was voted by the students to win university wide Star award for most outstanding teaching.

Summary of Research Interests

  • Low cost diagnostics for various biotechnology applications
  • Biomimetics for sensors and fermentation applications
  • Bioactive scaffolds for Tissue Engineering
  • Exploring relationship between Inclusion Bodies (IBs) and cell viability through genomic and proteomic tools
  • Paper based diagnostics to determine drug quality
  • Polymorphism in amyloid proteins
  • Start up valuations of Biotech businesses 

Safwan’s lab is looking for PhD students for the above-mentioned projects. If interested e-mail him directly.

Safwan’s laboratory has won £140’000 funding from Innovate UK to develop protein purification strategies based on glycosylation patterns. The laboratory is working in close collaboration with Glycoselect Ltd. The laboratory has won further funding to the tune of £117’000 from ERDF to work on the development of cost effective production of biochemicals used in Haemostatis testing in collaboration with Hart Innovations Ltd. 

Enterprise Interest and Activities

Dr. M. Safwan Akram has been involved with a start-up “YourBug” and a pharma company named “Renacon Pharma”. He is always on a look out for projects worth commercialising and making a difference to society.


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