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Steve Oliver


Steve OliverI started to work on yeast as a graduate student and have studied it ever since, with occasional excursions into the filamentous fungi and even Streptomyces bacteria. The yeast genome-sequencing project was initiated in my lab in the mid-1980’s when we started to sequence chromosome III. This turned into a major European Project, which eventually led to the sequencing of the entire yeast genome. I then took up the challenge presented by all the genes of unknown function revealed by the genome sequence, leading the EUROFAN Consortium that pioneered many of the ‘omic and other high-throughput technologies in current use.

My lab is dedicated to unravelling the workings of the yeast cell, using both top-down and bottom-up systems biology strategies. We are alos concerned with developing yeasts as systems to both understand and combat human diseases, including through the use of automated (‘Robot Scientist’ methods in collaboration with Ross King’s group in Aberystwyth).

Finally, we take an interest, at both the bioinformatic and experimental levels, in the evolution of genomes and networks, and are starting to apply this to mammalian systems




SGO Group Photo

Members of the Oliver Laboratory include, top row from left: Jorge Julvez, Yuchong Wang, Giorgio Favrin, Andy Hesketh, Leonardo Mancini,  Middle row: Nianshu Zhang, Elizabeth Bilsland, Lu Cao, Midori Harris, Marta Vergnano, Ayca Cankorur Cetinkaya, Duygu Dikicioglu. Front row: Steve Oliver, Yingzhi Tang, Petra Ahari, Ceyda Kasavi. 

Current Projects

Identification and analysis of high-flux control (HFC) genes in yeast.

Analysis of the transition to stationary phase in nutrient-starved yeast cells (with Nianshu Zhang).

Bioinformatic analysis of the impact of the whole-genome duplication in the evolutionary history of Saccharomyces yeasts on their regulatory circuitry and the chromosomal distribution of HFC genes.

Development and exploitation of logical and stoichiometric models of yeast metabolism.

Regulatory circuitry and the control of flux in yeast.

Development of statistical techniques for the analysis of high-throughput metabolomic data (with Wolfgang Huber).

Systems analysis of the barriers to the efficient secretion of heterologous proteins by the yeast, Pichia pastoris.

Humanisation of yeast for use as a living test-bed for drug discovery and design using the Robot Scientist.

Development of yeast as a test-bed for the study of the metabolism of parasitic protozoa.


Current Funding


A Systems Biology strategy for understanding the genome-wide control of growth rate and metabolic flux in yeast: BBSRC Research Grant.
A robot scientist for yeast systems biology: BBSRC Research Grant. (With Ross King, Aberystwyth; Douglas Kell, Manchester; Stephen Muggleton, Imperial College.)
Identifying and overcoming protein secretion bottlenecks in yeast and filamentous fungal cell factories: BBSRC BRIC Award.
A Robot Scientist for drug design and chemical genomics: BBSRC Research Grant. (With Ross King, Jem Rowland, and Mike Young, Aberystwyth).


European Commission
Yeast Systems Biology Network (YSBN)

Eukaryotic unicellular organism biology - systems biology of cell growth and proliferation (UNICELLSYS)


Recent publications


AmoutziasGD, HeY, LilleyK, Van de PeerY, Oliver SG (2012) Evaluation and properties of the budding yeast phosphoproteome. Molec. Cell. Proteomics 11.6 doi:10.1074/mcp.M111.009555

Wood V, McDowall MD, Rutherford K, Harris MA, Vaughan B, Staines DM, Aslett M, Lock A, Bahler J, Kersey PJ, Oliver SG (2012) PomBase: A comprehensive online resource for fission yeast. Nuc. Acids Res. 40, D695-D699.

Pir P, Gutteridge A, Wu J, Rash B, Kell DB, Zhang N, Oliver SG (2012) The genetic control of growth rate: a systems biology study in yeast. BMC Systems Biology 6: 4 (14 pages).

Lanthaler* K, Bilsland* E, Dobson PD,Moss HJ, Pir P, Kell DB, Oliver SG (2011) Genome-wide assessment of the carriers involved in the cellular uptake of drugs: a model system in yeast. BMC Biology 9: 70 (14 pages)

Szappanos B, KovácsK….OliverSG, PálC, Papp B (2011) An integrated approach to elucidate the organization principles of genetic interaction networks in yeast metabolism. Nature Genetics 43, 656-662.

Please click here for a full list of Steve Oliver’s publications.



Dave Archer (Nottingham), Monique Bolotin (Orsay, France), Kevin Brindle, Pınar Çalık (Ankara, Turkey), Jules Griffin, Wolfgang Huber (EBI/EMBL), Ross King (Aberystwyth), Betul Kirdar (Istanbul, Turkey), Kathryn Lilley (CSBC), Balàzs Papp (CSBC and Szeged, Hungary), Alan Tunnacliffe, Toni Vidal-Puig, Nianshu Zhang (CSBC) plus former colleagues in Manchester.