James Lipscombe

Senior Research Assistant
Profile photo of James Lipscombe


Contact details:

  • +44 (0) 1603 450 906



I am a Senior Research Assistant specialising in laboratory automation within the Technical Genomics Group

I joined the Earlham Institute at its inception in 2009 having previously provided a Sanger sequencing service at the John Innes Genome Lab. I have undertaken a variety of roles during my time at EI including pipeline sequencing operations and working within the Macaulay Group on single-cell genomics and transcriptomics where I provided technical assistance to researchers from the UK and beyond on a variety of fascinating research projects.

I have been involved in the development and operation of a high-throughput pipelines such as our LITE platform which we applied to the genomic screening of Salmonella samples from the developing world, and a BAC sequencing project contributing to the reference genomes of important crops such as bread Wheat, Barley and Lolium.

Drawing on my previous work in single-cell genomics and automation, in 2020 I was seconded into the Darwin Tree of Life project where I worked with the EI team and collaborators at the University of Oxford to establish a process for sequencing the genomes and transcriptomes of individual protists. One of the outcomes of this was the discovery of a Ciliate with a novel genetic code.

My current role includes programming liquid handling robots for a variety of molecular biology tasks, testing, validating and documenting automated protocols, instrument operation, support, troubleshooting and training. I engage with industry partners to stay informed and share ideas about new technologies that may be of interest to the institute as well as developing new automated protocols in mutually beneficial collaborations.

I take part in various public engagement activities, including the annual Norwich Science Festival and the Royal Norfolk Show, where we showcase the institute's science to a young audience and try to inspire them.

I am a member of Earlham Institute's Green Impact team which focuses on making small changes to the way we think and work to reduce the impact we have upon our environment whilst we go about our research.

My personal interests include music, football, kayaking, reading, human and natural history.