Matt Powner obtained a masters degree in Chemistry at the University of Manchester (2005), before completing a Medicinal Chemistry internship at AstraZeneca. He then returned to Manchester for his doctoral studies (2005-2008), working with Prof. John Sutherland. After completing his PhD, Matt continued his research at Manchester as an EPSRC PhD-plus Fellow (2009), before being awarded a Harvard Fellowship (2009-2011) where he work in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Prof. Jack Szostak at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Matt is currently a Lecturer of Organic and Biological Chemistry at UCL (2011- present) and an Investigator of the Simons Foundation, New York (2013-present). Matt was awarded the first ISSOL Stanley Miller Award (2011), the SET for Britain Roscoe (Gold) Medal (2012), was joint winner of the International Origin of Life Challenge (2012) and Thieme Chemistry Journal Award (2015).