Leanne Sims

PhD Student

Leanne is a PhD student in the School of Environmental Sciences (ENV) at UEA. The BBSRC NRP Doctoral Training Partnership funds her project. Leanne is working on the characterisation of a soluble diiron monooxygenase (SDIMO) involved in microbial degradation of the climate-active gas isoprene.


Prof J Colin Murrell – University of East Anglia
Prof Nick Le Brun – University of East Anglia
Dr Andrew Crombie – University of East Anglia


MSci Microbiology
University of East Anglia

Project Description: Isoprene monooxygenase: A missing link in the global isoprene cycle

Isoprene is a highly abundant volatile compound with important climatic effects. Isoprene is emitted in similar quantities to methane (approximately 600 million tonnes per year), however it is markedly less studied. The first step in isoprene degradation is believed to be catalysed by a soluble diiron monooxygenase (SDIMO) called isoprene monooxygenase. SDIMOs are a group on enzymes including the extensively characterised soluble methane monooxygenase (sMMO), and many of them are of interest in bioremediation and biotechnology because of their classically diverse substrate ranges.

The aim of the project is to purify and characterise isoprene monooxygenase to develop a greater understanding of the mechanisms behind isoprene degradation and expand understanding of the SDIMO enzymes.

Techniques Used:

  • PCR

  • Cloning

  • Gas Chromatography

  • Protein Purification

  • Mass Spectrometry


BBSRC/NRP Doctoral Training Partnership

Professional Memberships:

Society for Applied Microbiology
Microbiology Society
Biochemical Society


Contact Details

School of Environmental Sciences,
University of East Anglia,
Norwich Research Park
Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK




+44 (0)1603 592239