Skip to content ↓

Lecture Series

Another great talk for our Sixth Form students.

Lecture by Professor Simon M. Cutting on Molecular Biology.

On Wednesday 17th January, Year 12 students were fortunate enough to attend a talk given by Prof. Simon M. Cutting about his career and academia in Molecular Biology. 

The lecture began by briefly introducing his academic history, involving Manchester University, Oxford University, Harvard University, Pennsylvania Medical School and Royal Holloway London University. To the interest of many, he mentioned opportunities available to students, such as ‘Camp America’. Prof. Cutting who attended such a camp, emphasised it to be a pivotal moment for himself and future journeys he would embark on.

At Manchester University, he completed a Bsc Bacteriology and Virology and later went on to do his PhD at Oxford University. His PhD involved the study of bacterial spores, such as bacillus subtilis. He introduced the concept of sporulation, which was similar to cancer, in terms of its rapid growth. Sporulation also occurs in the presence of a specific gene of the cell, which acts as markers to reproduce and form spores. Throughout this entire journey, he has had the opportunity to meet four Nobel Prizes winners, James Watson, Craig Mello, Walter Gilbert and George Wald.

At Harvard he did postdoctoral research, working in the Biolabs, in Criss Cross Gene Regulation. He stayed in America after his post graduate for 13 years, teaching at the Pennsylvania Medical School. Returning to the UK in 1996, he has since been a professor at Royal Holloway University.

In 2012, Prof. Cutting went on to found SPOREGEN, a UK biotechnology company, which was immensely successful, innovating a range of products for wider science markets. For example, oral medical foods, vaccine-prone boosting strategies and one which you may have seen on the market, the nasal spray for COVID-19 (SPOR-COV). This nasal spray enhances innate immunity and protects you from SARSCOV2 and upper respiratory infections. SPOREGEN are currently involved in high amounts of research, such as finding a solution to methane emissions and an approach to hay fever, which would be revolutionary in the future.

Prof. Cutting has also written many articles such as the research into the 40 million-year-old Dominican Amber, ‘Gabriella’s Gibbon’ and ‘A forespore checkpoint for mother cell gene expression during development in B. subtilis’.

Lastly, he talked about his involvement in Vietnam. Every year he travels with hundreds to conduct workshops for future scientists, students who want to indulge further in science. Truly an inspiration to all.

Overall, Year 12 students highly enjoyed this talk and were left inspired by his work, which reaches global audiences and has a large impact on everyone!

Article written by Aycan, Year 12 student.