Tissue Culture & Transformation Service Manager

Matthew Smoker

Matthew Smoker


I manage the plant tissue culture and media team. My main focus is the production of genetically modified plants (17 different species) and also some plant pathogens, namely Phytophthora spp. The GMOs that we produce are a fundamental and essential resource for researchers here in The Sainsbury Laboratory. We also maintain a modest germplasm collection of different Solanum spp. and cultivars and are responsible for the maintenance of plant cell suspension cultures.

As both departmental Biological Safety Officer (BSO) and Chairman of the JIC Biological Safety Committee, my other duties include the management of DEFRA/FERA licences for plant health controlled material and the maintenance and review of Genetic Modification Risk Assessments (GMRAs) for work with GMOs. I apply for FERA–issued phytosanitary certificates for the exports of certain plant material(s) and am also authorised by FERA to issue Plant Passports for the movement of Solanaceous plant material within the EU.

Job history

  • 2003 -

    Tissue Culture & Transformation Service Manager

    The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, UK
  • 1997 - 2003

    Research Assistant

    The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, UK.
  • 1991 - 1997

    Scientific Officer

    IACR Rothamsted, UK