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Professor Brian McNeil

B.Sc(1st Class Hons), Ph.D., C.Eng, F.I.Chem.E.
Professor of Microbiology

HW 312

Tel : 4379


Brian McNeil B.Sc. (1st Class Hons in Applied Microbiology, Strathclyde 1980), Ph.D. funded by Carnegie Trust in Fermentation Technology 1984. Lecturer in Department of Bioscience 1989-1997, Senior Lecturer 1997-2003, Reader 2003, Professor of Microbiology 2005-date, Assistant Head of Institute 2009-2012.

My main research interests lie in trying to understand the relationship between the environment of microbial animal cells in industrial bioprocesses (the fermenter or bioreactor) and the behaviour of the cells. This has led to two research themes in broad terms. The first of these is real time monitoring of fermentation and cell cultures systems, especially using spectroscopic techniques, such as Near Infrared spectroscopy. This area has been supported substantially by BBSRC, EPSRC, TSB and major biotechnology and biopharma companies (including Eli Lilly, GSK, DSM, Roche) and equipment suppliers such as Foss NIRSystems and Applikon. The second theme relates to how cells respond to stress within fermenters, especially oxidative stress. A particular interest within this theme is the functioning and role of the alternative respiratory pathway in fungi.

I was a BBSRC Expert Pool Member in Industrial Biotechnology 2008-2010, and am currently a member of the Scottish Enterprise Industrial Biotechnology Growth Team.

"NIR validation of cleaning in a clinical context"
Health Facilities Scotland

"Real time matabolic flux modelling in biopharmaceutical bioprocessing"


  • Q. Long, X. Liua, Y. Yang, Lu Li, L.M. Harvey, B. McNeil and Z Bai. (2014) The development and application of high throughput cultivation technology in bioprocess development. JOURNAL OF BIOTECHNOLOGY 188, 6 [DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2014.03.028] Published (Epub)

  • X. Dai, W. Guo, Q. Long, Y. Yang, L.M. Harvey, B. McNeil, and Z. Bai Pharmaceutical Bioprocessing 2, (2014) Prediction of soluble heterologous protein expression levels in Escherichia coli from sequence-based features and its potential in biopharmaceutical process development. 2, 253-266 [DOI: doi: 10.4155/PBP.14.23]

  • Gardner, P, Arnold, S.A., Brown, F, Carr, R.H., Harvey, L. and McNeil, B (2013) Investigating the feasibility of MIR spectroscopy for monnitoring an industrial de-racemization biotransofrmation process.. Analytica Chimica Acta 779, 50-55

  • M. Fazenda, J.M. Dias, L. M. Harvey, R. Edrada Ebel, D. Littlejohn and B. McNeil . (2013) Towards better understanding of an industrial cell factory : investigating the feasibility of real time metabolic flux analysis in Pichia pastoris.. Microbial Cell Factories 12, 51-56 [DOI: 10.1186/1475-2859-12-51 ]

  • I. Voulgaris, A. O’Donnell, L.M. Harvey and B. McNeil (2012) Inactivating alternative NADH dehydrogenases : enhancing fungal bioprocesses by improving growth and biomass yield?. Scientific Reports 2, 322-328 [DOI: 10.1038/srep00322]

  • A O’Donnell, LM Harvey and B McNeil (2011) The roles of the alternative NADH dehydrogenases during oxidative stress in cultures of the filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger.. Fungal Biology 115, 359-369 [DOI: 10.1016/j.funbio.2011.01.007]

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Postdoctoral researchers

Dr Mariana Fazenda: 'Real time metabolic flux modelling in biopharmaceutical bioprocessing' (started 2010)

Postgraduate students

Melissa Black: 'on-line measurement of rheology in biotechnology processes' (started 2008)

Peter Gardner: 'Real time monitoring of commercial biocatalysis processes using near and mid infrared spectroscopes' (started 2008)

Ebtihaj Jambi: 'The oscillatory baffled bioreactor in bioprocessing' (started 2006)

Ivo Maria Joseph Kretzers: 'Oxidative stress in submerged culture of cells' (started 2009)

Tantima Kumlung: 'Improved routes to bioprocessing of biopharmaceuticals' (started 2007)

Ikuba John Ona: 'Understanding ethanol production from cassava and other waste' (started 2010)

Shivani Tyagi: 'Near infrared spectroscopy and scale up' (started 2007)

Christina Victoria Viegelmann: 'Metabolomics as a tool in the identification and production of new marine derived antibiotics from the coastlines of the British isles' (started 2010)

Ioannis Voulgaris: 'The production of industrially relevant enzymes using novel organisms and expression systems with new scalable fermentation technologies' (started 2007)

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