John is a Professor of Structural Biology focused on the global challenge of plastic pollution and leads a team of scientists researching natural enzyme discovery and engineering. John graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1993, with a BSc (Hons) degree in Microbiology, before going on to complete a PhD in Virology at the MRC Virology Unit, Glasgow.
His research career continued at the University of York, before joining the University of Portsmouth in 2000, working on DNA-binding proteins. In 2005, he completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the EMBL-Grenoble, France, researching crystallography at the large European synchrotron. In 2007, he re-joined the University of Portsmouth as an RCUK Fellow, was appointed to Reader in 2012 and Professor in 2016.
He co-founded the Centre for Enzyme Innovation in 2019 where he is currently Director. Their work on PET-digesting enzymes has been widely covered in the media following two key papers in 2018 and 2020 in the journal PNAS, and the project received the Times Higher Education STEM Research Project of the Year in 2019.