CNAP is based on one founding principle: that plant science can help tackle major global challenges of the 21st century.

The Centre for Novel Agricultural Products was established in 1999 by Professor Dianna Bowles with a donation from the Garfield Weston Foundation. Professor Bowles was concerned by the loss of plant biotechnical research in the UK and felt a new centre would help revive it. 

Our researchers are now addressing major global challenges and are focused on improving the quality and productivity of food and non-food crops. We are developing sustainable biorefinery approaches to enhance the supply of fuels and chemicals, and developing our understanding of how plants make valuable pharmaceuticals.

Over the last two decades, we have achieved a wide range of fundamental breakthroughs in plant, microbial and algal research and have achieved many milestones:

  • 2005: CNAP was awarded The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education
  • 2012: Biorenewables Development Centre was launched from a unique partnership between the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence and CNAP
  • 2019: CNAP supported the formation of BioYork

Dianna’s original team still run CNAP with Professor Neil Bruce now Director, and Professors Simon McQueen-Mason and Ian Graham FRS as former Directors. Professors Ian Bancroft and Kathryn Denby were appointed in 2013 and 2016, respectively. In 2019 Professor Luke Mackinder, Dr Andrea Harper, Dr Benjamin Lichman and Dr Thierry Tonon were appointed as group leaders. Find out more about the team

We believe diversity and inclusion leads to the best science. We have collaborated with researchers from all around the world including the EU, USA, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, India, China, Australia, South Africa, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam. 

Contact us

Professor Neil Bruce
Department of Biology
neil.bruce@york.ac.uk
+44 (0)1904 328777
Department of Biology, University of York, Wentworth Way, York YO10 5DD

Contact us

Professor Neil Bruce
Department of Biology
neil.bruce@york.ac.uk
+44 (0)1904 328777
Department of Biology, University of York, Wentworth Way, York YO10 5DD