skip to content

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge


Rob was awarded a Ph.D for research on iron uptake and metabolism in bacterial pathogens at the University of Leicester in 1997. During a postdoctoral fellowship and subsequently as Assistant Professor (R) at Texas A&M University, USA, he became interested in the evolution of pathogenesis, using the genus Salmonella as a model pathogen. This work focused on host-pathogen interactions with specific interest in genetic factors associated with the expansion in host-range by clinically important serotypes of Salmonella enterica. On moving to the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute as a Senior Scientist, new sequencing technology platforms capable of massively parallel sequencing, provided the opportunity to investigate population genetics at an unprecedented resolution and define micro-evolutionary features associated with the emergence of new pathogens. His current research group focuses on linking genotype with phenotype, bridging comparative genomics and the molecular basis of host-pathogen interactions to understand the evolution and pathogenicity of bacterial pathogens.


Key publications: 

Intra-continental spread of human invasive Salmonella Typhimurium pathovariants in sub-Saharan Africa. Chinyere K. Okoro*1, Robert A. Kingsley*1, Thomas R. Connor1, Simon R. Harris1, Christopher M. Parry2,3, Manar N Al-Mashhadani3, Samuel Kariuki4, Chisomo L. Msefula5, 6, Melita A. Gordon7, Elizabeth de Pinna8, John Wain8,9, Robert S. Heyderman5,10, Stephen Obaro11,12, Pedro L. Alonso13,14 Inacio Mandomando14,15, Calman A. MacLennan16,17, , Milagritos D. Tapia18, Myron M. Levine18,19, Sharon M.Tennant19 Julian Parkhill1, Gordon Dougan§1. Nature Genetics. 2012. In Press. * Senior authors.

Invasive non-typhoidal salmonella disease: an emerging and neglected tropical disease in Africa. Feasey NA, Dougan G, Kingsley RA, Heyderman RS, Gordon MA. Lancet. 2012 May 11.

High-resolution single nucleotide polymorphism analysis distinguishes recrudescence and reinfection in recurrent invasive nontyphoidal Salmonella typhimurium disease. Okoro CK, Kingsley RA, Quail MA, Kankwatira AM, Feasey NA, Parkhill J, Dougan G, Gordon MA. Clin Infect Dis. 2012 Apr;54(7):955-63

Salmonella bongori provides insights int the evolution of the Salmonellae. Fookes M, Schroeder GN, Langridge GC, Blondel CJ, Mammina C, Connor TR, Seth-Smith H, Vernikos GS, Robinson KS, Sanders M, Petty NK, Kingsley RA, Bäumler AJ, Nuccio SP, Contreras I, Santiviago CA, Maskell D, Barrow P, Humphrey T, Nastasi A, Roberts M, Frankel G, Parkhill J, Dougan G, Thomson NR. PLoS Pathog. 2011 Aug;7(8):e1002191

A Salmonella Typhimurium-Typhi genomic chimera : a model to study Vi polysaccharide capsule function in vivo. Angela M. Jansen, Lindsay J. Hall, Simon Clare, David Goulding, Kathryn E. Holt, Andrew J. Grant, Piero Mastroeni, Gordon Dougan and Robert A. Kingsley. PLOS Pathogens 7(7), e1002131.

Citrobacter rodentium is an Unstable Pathogen Showing Evidence of Significant Genomic Flux. Petty NK, Feltwell T, Pickard D, Clare S, Toribio AL, Fookes M, Roberts K, Monson R, Nair S, Kingsley RA, Bulgin R, Wiles S, Goulding D, Keane T, Corton C, Lennard N, Harris D, Willey D, Rance R, Yu L, Choudhary JS, Churcher C, Quail MA, Parkhill J, Frankel G, Dougan G, Salmond GP, Thomson NR. Genome Research. 2011. Apr;7(4) :e1002018. Epub 2011 Apr 7.

Soluble flagellin, FliC, induces an Ag-specific Th2 response, yet promotes T-bet-regulated Th1 clearance of Salmonella Typhimurium infection. Bobat S, Flores-Langarica A, Hitchcock J, Marshall JL, Kingsley RA, Goodall M, Gil-Cruz C, Serre K, Leyton DL, Letran SE, Gaspal F, Chester R, Chamberlain JL, Dougan G, López-Macías C, Henderson IR, Alexander J, Maclennan IC, Cunningham AF. 2011. Eur J Immunol. In press.

In vivo regulation of the Vi antigen in Salmonella and induction of immune responses with an in vivo inducible promoter. Janis C, Grant AJ, McKinley TJ, Morgan FJ, John VF, Houghton J, Kingsley RA, Dougan G, Mastroeni P. Infection and Immunity, In Press.

Samuel Kariuki, Gunturu Revathi, John Kiiru, Doris M. Mengo, Joyce Mwituria, Jane Muyodi, Agnes Munyalo, Yik Y. Teo, Kathryn E. Holt, Robert A. Kingsley, Gordon Dougan. Typhoid in Kenaya is associated with a dominant multi-drug resistant Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi haplotype that is also widespread in Asia. 2010. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 48(6):2171-6.

Calman A. MacLennan, James J. Gilchrist, Melita A. Gordon, Adam F. Cunningham, Mark Cobbold, Margaret Goodall, Robert A. Kingsley, Joep J. G. van Oosterhout, Chisomo L. Msefula, Wilson L. Mandala, Denisse L. Leyton, Jennifer L. Marshall, Esther N. Gondwe, Saeeda Bobat, Constantino López-Macías, Rainer Doffinger, Ian R. Henderson, Eduard E. Zijlstra, Gordon Dougan, Mark T. Drayson, Ian C. M. MacLennan, Malcolm E. Molyneux, Dysregulated humoral immunity to nontyphoidal Salmonella in HIV-infected African adults. 2010. Science 328, 508.

Ten years experience of Salmonella infections in Cambridge, UK. Matheson N, Kingsley RA, Sturgess K, Aliyu SH, Wain J, Dougan G, Cooke FJ. Journal of Infection. 2010 Jan;60(1):21-5.

Robert A. Kingsley, Chisomo L. Msefula, Nicholas R. Thomson, Samuel Kariuki, Kathryn E. Holt, Melita A. Gordon, David Harris, Louise Clarke, Sally Whitehead, Vartul Sangal, Kevin Marsh3,  Mark Achtman, Malcolm E. Molyneux, Martin Cormican, Julian Parkhill, Calman A. MacLennan, Robert S. Heyderman and Gordon Dougan. Epidemic multiple drug resistant Salmonella Typhimurium causing invasive disease in Sub-Saharan Africa have a distinct genotype. 2009. Genome Research, 9(12), 2279-87.

Croucher, NJ, Fookes MC, Perkins TT, Turner DJ, Marquerat, SB, Keane T, Quail MA, He M, Assefa S, Bahler J, Kingsley RA, Parkhill, J, Bentley SD, Dougan G, Thomson NR. A simple method for directional transcriptome sequencing using Illumina technology. 2009. Nucleic Acids Research. 37(22) e148, Epub.

Timothy T Perkins, Robert A Kingsley, Maria C Fookes, Paul P Gardner, Keith D James, Lu Yu, Samuel A Assefa, Miao He, Nicholas J Croucher, Derek J Pickard, Duncan J Maskell, Julian Parkhill Jyoti Choudhary, Nicholas R Thomson, Gordon Dougan. A Strand Specific RNA-seq analysis of the transcriptome of the typhoid bacillus, Salmonella Typhi. 2009. PLoS Genetics. 5(7): e1000569.

Gil-Cruz C, Saeeda Bobat, Jennifer L. Marshall, Robert A. Kingsley, Ewan A. Ross, Ian R. Hendersona, Denisse L. Leyton, Ruth E. Coughlan, Mahmood Khan, Karina T. Jensen, Christopher D. Buckley, Gordon Dougan, Ian C. M. MacLennan, Constantino Lo´ pez Macías,and Adam F. Cunningham. The porin OmpD from nontyphoidal Salmonella is a key target for a protective B1b cell antibody response. 2009. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA.

Nicholas R. Thomson , Debra J. Clayton, Daniel Windhorst, George Vernikos, Susanne Davidson, Carol Churcher, Michael A. Quail, Mark Stevens, Michael A  Jones, Michael Watson, Andy Barron, Abigail Layton, Derek Pickard, Robert A.  Kingsley, Alex Bignell, Louise Clark, Barbara Harris, Doug Ormond, Zahra  Abdellah, Karen Brooks, Inna Cherevach, Tracey Chillingworth, John Woodward1,  Halina Norberczak, Angela Lord, Claire Arrowsmith, Kay Jagels, Sharon Moule, Karen Mungall, Mandy Saunders, Sally Whitehead1,  Jose A. Chabalgoity,  Duncan  Maskell, Tom Humphreys, Mark Roberts, Paul A. Barrow, Gordon Dougan and  Julian Parkhill. Comparative genome analysis of Salmonella Enteritidis PT4 and Salmonella  Gallinarum 287/91 provides insights into evolutionary and host adaptation  pathways. Genome Research. 18 (10) 1624-37

Bishop A, D. House, T. Perkins, S. Baker, Robert A Kingsley*, Interaction of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi with cultured epithelial cells: roles of surface structures in adhesion and invasion. G. Dougan. 2008. Microbiology. 154, 1914-26.

MacLennan CA, E. N. Gondwe, C. L. Msefula,,  R. A. Kingsley, N. R. Thomson, S. A. White, M. Goodall, D. J. Pickard, S. M. Graham, G. Dougan, C. A. Hart, M. E. Molyneux and M. T. Drayson. The neglected role of antibody in protection against nontyphoidal salmonella bacteremia in African children. Journal of Clinical Investigation. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2008. 118(4):1553-62.

Characterization of the genomes of a diverse collection of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium definitive phage type 104. Cooke FJ, Brown DJ, Fookes M, Pickard D, Ivens A, Wain J, Roberts M, Kingsley RA, Thomson NR, Dougan G. J Bacteriol. 2008 190 (24):8155-62.

Stephen Baker, Jonathan Hardy, Kenneth E Sanderson, Michael Quail, Ian Goodhead, Robert Kingsley, Julian Parkhill, Bruce Stocker and Gordon Dougan. A Novel Linear Plasmid Mediates Flagella Variation in Salmonella Typhi. 2007. PLOS Pathogens. 3(5):e59.

Moataz Abd E L Ghany, Angela Jansen, Simon Clare, Lindsay Hall, Derek Pickard, Robert A. Kingsley* and Gordon Dougan. Candidate live, attenuated Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium vaccines with reduced fecal shedding are immunogenic and effective oral vaccines. Infection and Immunity. 2007. 75(4), 1835-1842.

Kingsley R.A*, D. Abi Ghanem, A.M. Keestra, L. Bergman and A.J. Bäumler. Fibronectin binding to the Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium ShdA autotransporter protein is inhibited by monoclonal antibody recognizing the A3 repeat. Journal of Bacteriology, 186(15), 4931-4939.

Kingsley R.A.*, A.M. Keestra, M.R. de Zoete and A.J. Bäumler The ShdA adhesin binds to the cationic cradle of the fibronectin 13FnIII repeat module: evidence for molecular mimicry of heparin binding. 2004. Molecular Microbiology, 52(2), 345-355.

A.D. Humphries, M. Raffatellu, S. Winter, E.H. Weening, R.A. Kingsley, R. Droleskey, S. Zhang, J. Figueiredo, S. Khare, J. Nunes, L.G. Adams, R.M. Adams, R.M. Tsolis. The use of flow cytometry to detect expression of subunits encoded by 11 Salmonella enterica serotype Typimurium fimbrial operons. 2004 Molecular Microbiology 48(5):1357-1376.

Kingsley, R.A., A.D. Humphries, E. Weening, M. de Zoete, S. Winter, A. Papaconstantinopoulou, G. Dougan and A.J. Bäumler. Molecular and Phenotypic Analysis of the CS54 Island of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium: Identification of Intestinal Colonization and Persistence Determinants. Infection and Immunity. 71(2), 629-640.

Kingsley, R.A., E.H. Weening, A.M. Keestra, A.J. Bäumler. Population heterogeneity of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium resulting from phase variation of the lpf operon in vitro and in vivo. Journal of Bacteriology, 184(9), 2352-2359.

Kingsley, R.A., R.L. Santos, A. M. Keestra, L.G. Adams and A.J. Bäumler. 2002. Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium  ShdA is an outer membrane fibronectin binding protein which is expressed in the intestine. Molecular Microbiology 43(4):895-905.

Reissbrodt, R., H. Heier, H. Tschaper, R.A. Kingsley and P.H. Williams. 2000. Resuscitation by ferrioxamine E of stressed Salmonella typhimurium from soil and water microcosms. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 66(9), 4128-4130.

Rabsch, W., B.M. Hargis, R.M. Tsolis, R.A. Kingsley, K.H. Hinz, H. Tschäpe, and A.J. Bäumler. 2000. Competitive Exclusion of Salmonella Enteritidis by Salmonella Gallinarum in Poultry. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 6 (5), Sept-Oct, Pp 1-6.

Tsolis, R.M., M.J. Hantman, C.A. Scherer, T. Kimbrough, R.A. Kingsley, T.A. Ficht, L.G. Adams, S.I. Miller and A.J. Bäumler. 2000. SspA is required for lethal salmonella enterica serovar typhimuirum infections in Calves but is not essesntial for diarrhea. Infection and Immunity, 68(6), 3158-3163.

Kingsley, R.A., Karin van Amsterdam, Naomi Kramer and Andreas J Bäumler. 2000. The shdA gene is restricted to serotypes of Salmonella enterica subspecies I and contributes to efficient and prolonged fecal shedding. Infection and Immunity, 68(5), 2720-2727.

Miao, E.A., C.A. Scherer, R.M. Tsolis, R.A. Kingsley, L.G. Adams, A.J. Bäumler and S.I. Miller. 1999. Salmonella typhimurium leucine-rich repeat proteins are translocated by the SPI1 and SPI2 type III secretion systems. Molecular Microbiology 34(4), 850-864.

Kingsley, R.A., R. Reissbrodt, W. Rabsch, J.M. Ketley, R. M. Tsolis, P. Everest, G. Dougan, A.J. Bäumler, M. Roberts, P.H. Williams. 1999. Ferrioxamine mediated iron (III) utilization by Salmonella enterica. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 65(4):1610-1618.

Norris, T.L., R.A. Kingsley and A.J. Bäumler. 1998. Expression and transcriptional control of the Salmonella typhimurium lpf fimbrial operon by phase variation. Molecular Microbiology,  29(1):311-320

Reissbrodt, R., R. Kingsley, W. Rabsch, W. Beer, M. Roberts and P.H. Williams. 1997. Iron-regulated excretion of a-keto acids by Salmonella typhimurium. Journal of Bacteriology 179(14):4538-4544.

Kingsley, R., W. Rabsch, M. Roberts, R. Reissbrodt and P.H. Williams. 1996. TonB-dependent iron supply in Salmonella by a-ketoacids and a-hydroxyacids. FEMS Microbiology Letters 140:65-70.

Kingsley, R., W. Rabsch, P. Stephens, M. Roberts, R. Reissbrodt and P.H. Williams. 1995. Iron supplying systems of Salmonella in diagnostics, epidemiology and infection. FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology 11:257-264.

Elucidation of host-Pathogen interactions of enteric bacteria using a genomic and phylogenomic approach.
Dr  Robert   Kingsley
Takes PhD students
Available for consultancy