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An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge


Research Group Leader

Microbial virulence

Work in the lab is focused on understanding how bacterial populations sense and respond to one another and specific environmental challenges, and how they modulate their behaviour accordingly. In particular, we focus on how these factors affect virulence in a gram-negative model organism and opportunistic human pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. A special area of interest is in defining how changes in lifestyle (planktonic versus biofilm) influence cell-cell signaling and virulence factor production. Our work combines state-of-the-art proteomic, transcriptomic and metabolomic analyses with conventional molecular microbiological and biochemical approaches.


Key publications: 

Hannah G. Stickland, Peter W. Davenport, Kathryn S. Lilley, Julian L. Griffin and Martin Welch. Mutation of nfxB causes global changes in the physiology and metabolism of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. (2010). J. Proteome. Res. 9 :2957-2967.

James Hodgkinson, Steven D. Bowden, Warren R. J. D. Galloway, David R. Spring and Martin Welch. Structure-activity analysis of the Pseudomonas quinolone signal molecule. (2010). J. Bacteriol. 192 :3833-3837.

Mikkelsen H, Bond N, Skindersoe ME, Givskov M, Lilley KS and Welch M. “Biofilms and Type III secretion are not mutually exclusive in Pseudomonas aeruginosa”. 155: 687-698. Microbiology (2008).

Wang J-H, Gardiol. N., Burr, T., Salmond GPC, and Welch M “RelA-dependent (p)ppGpp production controls exoenzyme synthesis in Erwinia carotovora subsp. atroseptica.” J. Bacteriol. (2007) 189: 7643-7652.

Mikkelsen H, Duck Z,  Lilley, KS. and Welch, M. “The Inter-relationship between colonies, biofilms and planktonic cells of Pseudomonas aeruginosa”. J. Bacteriol. 189:2411-2416 (2007).

Department of Biochemistry
Regulation of microbial virulence and biofilms in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Quorum sensing, anti-bacterials, stringent response.
Dr Martin  Welch
Takes PhD students
Available for consultancy


Departments and institutes: 
Person keywords: 
Drug Resistance
Signal Transduction
Quorum Sensing
Drug Discovery
Gene Expression
Gene Regulation