Leonardo Rios Solis

: 15 févr. 2024

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Dr. Leonardo Rios is a distinguished leader in the fields of synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, and bioprocessing. A dedicated academic and entrepreneur, he currently serves as an Associate Professor leading his laboratory in UCL Biochemical Engineering, focusing on pioneering research at the intersection of biochemical engineering and synthetic biology.

Education and Early Career

Dr. Rios obtained his Chemical Engineering MEng and Biotechnology MSc from the esteemed National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the Mexican Institute of Petroleum. Building on this solid foundation, he pursued a Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering at University College London (UCL). His groundbreaking doctoral work concentrated on the use of microscale automated tools for the design, modeling, and optimization of de novo pathways. He specialized in enzyme systems including transaminases, transketolases, and monoamine oxidases.

Academic Achievements

Following his Ph.D., Dr. Rios was awarded a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California Berkeley. Here, he expanded his expertise in microbial synthetic biology at the Keasling Lab at the Joint BioEnergy Institute. His impactful research led him to a lectureship in 2017 at the Engineering School of the University of Edinburgh. Building upon his successes, he was promoted to Associate Professor at Newcastle University in 2022 before making a high-profile move to his current position at UCL Biochemical Engineering in 2023.

Research Focus:

Dr. Rios’s research group stands at the vanguard of cellular engineering, specializing in both microbial and, more recently, mammalian cell factories for the synthesis of high-value biofuels, biomaterials, alternative foods, fragrances, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals among others. The team is also breaking new ground in bioprocess technology by innovating advanced continuous-flow bioreactors engineered to host these cellular factories. Leveraging Dr. Rios’s established expertise in microscale bioreactors, systems biology, continuous-flow systems, and open-source automation tools, the group has expedited the design, construction, and characterization of microbial cell factories—always with an eye toward industrial-scale applicability. Currently, Dr. Rios is pioneering the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into his research methodology. His focus is on employing AI algorithms to guide the precision design of microbial cell factories, while also advancing smart bioreactors equipped with self-optimization features and AI-enhanced automation platforms. His research endeavors have also culminated in the creation of innovative synthetic biology toolkits and ground-breaking low-cost diagnostic tools based on CRISPR technology. Entrepreneurial Ventures and Social Impact: Further showcasing his entrepreneurial spirit, Dr. Rios is also the co-founder of Marizca LTD and Logikopt SA de CV.

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