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Ross Milton

Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, UNIGE

  • Assistant Professor

About Ross Milton

The Milton lab is interested in metalloenzymes that catalyze reactions such as dinitrogen reduction to ammonia, hydrogen production from water, and carbon dioxide reduction to hydrocarbon fuels (and mechanistically related enzymes). In addition to anoxic protein purification and mutagenetic studies, we often employ electrochemical techniques to study electron transfer mechanisms as well as to evaluate these enzymes as components of new biotechnologies.

Ross Milton was born and raised in the south of the United Kingdom. Following on from a childhood interest in understanding “how things work”, he completed a BSc (2010) and PhD (2014) in Chemistry at the University of Surrey (UK), where his PhD thesis focused on enzymatic electrodes in glucose-oxidizing fuel cells for energy conversion under the supervision of Robert Slade and Alfred Thumser. Ross  Milton then began his first postdoctoral position in Shelley Minteer’s group at the University of Utah (USA), first focusing on alternative electrode constructs and new materials (such as redox polymers) for energy conversion by enzymatic electrodes.

During this time, Ross Milton developed an interest in the concept of enzymatic electrosynthesis whereby electrical energy is consumed to produce valuable chemical commodities at enzymatic electrodes. He was awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (2015) between the University of Utah and the National University of Ireland Galway (Dónal Leech, incoming phase) to investigate the electroenzymatic reduction of unreactive dinitrogen to ammonia by nitrogenase.

With a developing interest in complex enzymatic electron transfer and catalytic mechanisms, Ross Milton embarked upon a second postdoctoral position (2017) in Alfred Spormann’s group at Stanford University (USA). During this time, he investigated flavin-based electron bifurcation by large metalloenzyme complexes (heterodisulfide reductase) in the methanogenic archaeon Methanococcus maripaludis.

After completing the incoming phase of the MSC fellowship in Dónal Leech’s group, Ross Milton began his independent career as an Assistant Professor (tenure track) in the Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry at the University of Geneva (Switzerland) in September 2019.