Dr. Thomas J. Smith
PhD, Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Edinburgh, UK, 1992.
MA, University of Cambridge, 1991.
BA, Natural Sciences (Biochemistry), University of Cambridge, UK, 1987.
Biomedical Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University
Tel no. :
+44 (0) 144 225 3042
Fax no. :
+44 (0) 144 225 3066
Involvement with UTAR in academic & research

Contact Person:
  - Dr. Alan Ong Han Kiat
(Faculty of Medicine and Health Science)
  • Principal Lecturer in Microbiology, Sheffield Hallam University, UK, 2001 to current.
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Warwick, UK, 1996-2001.
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, UK, 1993-1996.
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Centre for Advanced Research in Biotechnology, Rockville, MD, USA, 1993.
Teaching Interests
  • Microbial biotechnology
  • Enzymology
  • Bioinformatics
Research Interests
  • Bacterial oxygenases, enzymology and applied microbiology
  • Protein engineering of bacterial oxygenases
  • Microbiology of aquaculture
  • New expression systems for biocatalysts
  • Novel antimicrobial agents from natural products
  • Microbiological applications in materials science
  • Use of molecular microbiology techniques to study microorganisms in hospitals
Awards & Honours
  • Awarded one of four 'promising researcher fellowships' at Sheffield Hallam University (2005-7).
Publications & Presentations
  • He has published more than 25 articles in the form of international journals and over 50 outputs in the form of book chapter, conference paper, research reports etc.
Funded Research Projects
  • Laboratory evolution of alkene monooxygenase for improved chiral synthesis, BBSRC (ref. E20252), 209k, 2003-2007.
  • Exploring the catalytic versatility of soluble methane monooxygenase, BBSRC (ref. BB/C00399X/1), with J.C. Murrell (University of Warwick). 119k for Sheffield Hallam based part of project, 2004-2007.
  • Development of an affinity purification protocol for alkene monooxygenase, Society for General Microbiology, 1.7k, Summer 2004.
  • Development of a unifying technology for enantioselective and regioselective biocatalysis, BBSR China Partering award (ref. PA1519), with J.C. Murrell (University of Warwick) and M-H. Zong and co-workers (South China University of Technology), 15.1k, 2005-2009.
  • Investigation of heterologous expression of alkene monooxygenease in a methylotrophic bacterium, Society for General Microbiology 1.4k, Summer 2005.
  • Detection of volatile organic compounds using novel biocatalyst/so gel based biosensors, Medical Research Discipline Hopping Award, with R. Akid (Sheffield Hallam University), 84,522, 2006-2007
  • Characterisation of novel antimicrobial peptides produced by scorpions from India, Society for General Microbiology, 1760, 2006-2007
  • Molecular microbiology and antibiotic resistance in the ICU environment: can molecular audit inform clinical management?. PhD student funded jointly by Sheffield Hallam University, AstraZeneca PLC, Astellas PLC and Pfizer PLC. In collaboration with K. Stanley (Sheffield Hallam) and G. Mills, R. Townsend, D. Edbrooke, S.T. Green (Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS trust), 2006-9.
  • Investigation of a possible gating residue at the mouth of the active site of alkene monooxygenase, Society for General Microbiology, 1760, Summer 2007.
  • Development of a function sol gel coating system via encapsulation of microorganisms, EPSRC (ref.EP/F008643/1) with R. Akid (PI, Materials and Engineering Research Institute, Sheffield Hallam University), 354,638, 2007-2010.
  • 'Molecular microbiology of a combined farmed freshwater fish and hydroponic system: toward coupled sustainable fish and food plant production', British Council (PMI2). Dr Alan Ong (Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia). 14,226, 2008-2010.
  • 'Promoting commercial uptake of monooxygenase biocatalysts', Bioscience for Business Knowledge Transfer Network, FROPTOP and CoEBio3. 12,500, 2008-2009.
  • 'Novel monooxygenase biocatalysts from the environment and the laboratory', BBSRC (ref. BB/F01449X/1); with J. C. Murrell (University of Warwick). 293,905, 2008-2011.
Professional Membership
  • Society for General Microbiology; Society for Applied Microbiology; Biochemical Society.
Professional Activities
  • International and national presentations in research seminars e.g. NRCC Montreal (1999), Warwick (2004), Katowice (2004), Tsinghua University Beijing (2007), UTAR Kuala Lumpur (2007).
  • Invited speakers e.g. Gordon Research Conference in New London (Connecticut, USA), 2002.
  • Oral presentation at Biotrans 2007 in Oviedo, Spain, 2007.
  • Editorial board of Journal of Applied Microbiology and Letters in Applied Microbiology, since 2005.
  • Peer reviewing of papers and grant applications.