Eriko Takano

Cell Biology

Eriko Takano

Specially Appointed Professor

Microbial Synthetic BiologyMetabolic engineeringUntargetted metabolomics for chassis engineering in StreptomycesBioinformatics software development for designing natural products producers


Eriko Takano is the Professor of Synthetic Biology in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, Department of Chemistry, School of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, at the University of Manchester since 2012. In 2014, she was appointed as one of the three directors for the EPSRC/BBSRC-funded Manchester Synthetic Biology Research Centre, SYNBIOCHEM and in 2018, she was appointed as the deputy head of department of Chemistry. Eriko graduated from Kitasato University in Japan and did her undergraduate project with Prof Satoshi Omura (2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine), before working at a R&D facility for a company, Meiji Seika Kaisha, for several years. After leaving industry, she obtained her PhD at the John Innes Institute, Norwich, UK, in 1994 on the regulation of antibiotic production in Streptomyces coelicolor. Before her arrival in Manchester, she had been Associate Professor at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and Assistant Professor (C1) at the Department of Microbiology / Biotechnology, University of Tübingen, in Germany.
Eriko is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the synthetic biology of microbes for antibiotic production. Her interests are in bioinformatics software development for designing natural products producers; untargeted metabolomics for chassis engineering in Streptomyces; secondary metabolite biosynthesis pathway assembly; and regulatory circuit engineering through signalling molecules.

Expectations for WRHI

Promote collaborations with the researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology and advance synthetic biology in Japan.


Specially Appointed Professor,  School of Life Science and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology


University of Manchester, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences, Deputy head of School of Chemistry


BBSRC, EPSRC funded Manchester Synthetic Biology Research Centre, SYNBIOCHEM, Director


Professor of Synthetic Biology, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, University of Manchester, UK


Associate Professor (permanent) in Synthetic Microbiology, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB), University of Groningen, The Netherlands


Assistant Professor (tenure track) Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB), University of Groningen, The Netherlands


Assistant Professor (C1), Department of Microbiology/ Biotechnology, University of Tübingen, Biological Institute, Germany


Rosalind Franklin Fellowship from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands.


Lepetit Award Lepetit & the Italian Society for General Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology


Finnigan W, Roberts AD, Ligorio C, Scrutton NS, Breitling R, Blaker JJ and Takano E. The effect of terminal globular domains on the response of recombinant mini-spidroins to fiber spinning triggers. Scientific Reports (2020) in press


Reddy GK, Leferink NGH, Umemura M, Ahmed ST, Breitling R, Scrutton NS, Takano E. Exploring novel bacterial terpene synthases. PLoS One. (2020) 15(4):e0232220. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0232220


Robinson CJ … Breitling R*, Takano E*, Scrutton NS*. Rapid prototyping of microbial production strains for the biomanufacture of potential materials monomers. Metab Eng. 2020 doi: 10.1016/j.ymben.2020.04.008. (*joint corresponding authors)


Pinheiro B, Scheidler C, Kielkowski P, Schmid M, Forné I, Ye S, Reiling N, Takano E, Imhof A, Sieber S, Schneider S, Jung, K. Structure and function of a novel elongation factor P subfamily in Actinobacteria. Cell Reports (2020) in press.


Kearsey KJ, Prandi N, Karuppiah V, Yan C, Leys D, Toogood H, Takano E, Scrutton NS. Structure of the Cannabis sativa olivetol-producing enzyme reveals cyclization plasticity in Type III polyketide synthases. FEBS J (2019) 287:1511-1524. Editor’s Choice


Cummings M, Peters AD, Whitehead GFS, Menon BRK, Micklefield J, Webb SJ, Takano E. Assembling a plug-and-play production line for combinatorial biosynthesis of aromatic polyketides in Escherichia coli. PLOS Biol (2019) 17 e3000347.


Del Carratore F, Zych K, Cummings M, Takano E, Medema MH, Breitling R. Computational identification of co-evolving multi-gene modules in microbial biosynthetic gene clusters. Communications Biology (2019) 2:83


Carbonell P, Jervis AJ, Robinson CJ, Yan CY, Dunstan M, Swainston N, Vinaixa M, Hollywood KA, Currin A, Rattray NJW, Taylor S, Spiess R, Sung R, Williams AR, Fellows D, Stanford NJ, Mulherin P, Le Feuvre R, Barran P, Goodacre R, Turner NJ, Goble C, Chen GG, Kell DB, Micklefield J, Breitling R, Takano E, Faulon JL, Scrutton NS An automated Design-Build-Test-Learn pipeline for enhanced microbial production of fine chemicals. Commun Biol. (2018) 1:66


Wintle BC, Boehm CR, Rhodes C, Molloy JC, Millett P, Adam L, Breitling R, Carlson R, Casagrande R, Dando M, Doubleday R, Drexler E, Edwards B, Ellis T, Evans NG, Hammond R, Haseloff J, Kahl L, Kuiken T, Lichman BR, Matthewman CA, Napier J, Ó hÉigeartaigh S, Patron NJ, Perello E, Shapira P, Tait J, Takano E, Sutherland WJ. A transatlantic perspective on 20 emerging issues in biological engineering. eLife (2017) 6 e30247.


Blin K, Wolf T, Chevrette MG, Lu X, Schwalen CJ, Kautsar SA, Suarez Duran HG, de Los Santos ELC, Kim HU, Nave M, Dickschat JS9, Mitchell DA, Shelest E, Breitling R, Takano E, Lee SY, Weber T, Medema MH. antiSMASH 4.0-improvements in chemistry prediction and gene cluster boundary identification. Nucleic Acids Res. (2017) doi: 10.1093/nar/gkx319


Medema MH, Kottmann R, Yilmaz P, Cummings M, [146 co-authors in alphabetical order], Breitling R, Takano E, Glöckner FO: The Minimum Information about a Biosynthetic Gene cluster (MIBiG) specification. Nature Chem. Biol. (2015) 11: 625-631


 Cimermancic P, Medema MH, Claesen J, Kurita K, Wieland Brown LC, Mavrommatis K, Pati A, Godfrey PA, Koehrsen M, Clardy J, Birren BW, Takano E, Sali A, Linington RG, Fischbach MA.  Insights into secondary metabolism from a global analysis of bacterial biosynthetic gene clusters. Cell (2014) 158:412-21. highlighted in Nature Chemical Biology, 10 798-800 (2014)


Medema MH, van Raaphorst R, Takano E, Breitling R. Computational tools for the synthetic design of biochemical pathways. Nature Rev. Microbiol. (2012) 10:191-202


Medema MH, Breitling R, Bovenberg RAL, and Takano E. Exploiting Plug-and-Play Synthetic Biology for Drug Discovery and Production in Microbes. Nature Rev Microbiol  (2011) 9:131–137.