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An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

Salmonella Bacteria are highly successful in evolutionary terms, occupying most possible ecological niches on the planet. A small proportion of the bacteria have evolved to occupy niches within humans and other animals, and a smaller proportion of these cause harm to the host animal in so doing. The diseases caused by these species of bacteria range from the relatively mild up to the rapidly fatal. Historically important bacterial infections include the Black Death, or plague, tuberculosis, typhoid fever and cholera. All of these diseases of humans still occur, with devastating consequences, especially in the Developing World. Bacterial diseases are also major problems for livestock health, and the spread of bacteria from animals to humans remains a major public health problem worldwide.

Vaccines and antimicrobial drugs have been developed and used for decades. Some bacterial diseases arMRSAe controlled very successfully by their use, but others are not, and finding effective and safe vaccines to prevent them has been particularly difficult. The use and abuse of antimicrobials in human and veterinary medicine has inevitably driven the evolution of resistance to these drugs, and there are now bacterial pathogens that are resistant to all known antimicrobial drugs, raising the spectre of a return to the pre-antibiotic era.

Research at the University of Cambridge into bacterial diseases is wide-ranging. The spectrum of activity runs from studying the pathogens themselves through to trying to understand how the pathogens interact with their hosts, and how the host animals fight off infection. Research ranges from the molecular biology of pathogenesis, through host cell interactions, to whole animal research aimed at understanding the mathematical models underlying the infection dynamics. Much of this work is directed at development of new and improved intervention strategies, and specifically at identifying targets for novel vaccines and antimicrobial drugs.

This research is concentrated principally in the Departments of Pathology, Veterinary Medicine, Biochemistry, Genetics and Pharmacology, with strong links to other Departments in the University, and Institutes in the Cambridge area and beyond, both nationally and internationally.

Professor Stephen  Bentley
Wellcome Sanger Institute
Genomics of bacterial pathogenesis with a particular focus on pneumonia and meningitis
Dr Katherine  Brown
Department of Physics
Development of Therapeutics for Bacterial Infectious Diseases, including Traumatic Injury Infection and Biothreat Agents
Dr Graham   Christie
Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
Bacterial spore structure and germination; structural biology (protein crystallography); coronavirus testing and inactivation
We study bacterial spores (e.g. Bacillus and Clostridium), with a focus on their assembly, structure, and germination.
Professor Pietro  Cicuta
Department of Physics
Salmonella infection of macrophages; bacterial adhesion in airways; P.falciparum (Malaria) egress and invasion in red blood cells; gene expression noise in E.coli; new phenotipic responses to antibiotics; microfluidics/single cell imaging.
 Janet  Deane
Principal Investigator, Cambridge Institute Medical Research (CIMR)
Molecular mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions during bacterial infection
  Gillian   Fraser
Senior University Lecturer in Cellular & Molecular Microbiology
Head of the Division of Microbiology & Parasitology, Department of Pathology
Niccoli Fellow in the Natural Sciences & Director of Studies, Queens' College
Dr Andrew James Grant
Department of Veterinary Medicine
Host-pathogen interactions and the molecular basis of virulence.
Dr Ewan  Harrison
Career Development Fellow - UKRI Innovation Fellowship, at Wellcome Sanger Institute
Senior Research Associate, Department of Medicine
Honorary Fellow in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care
Genomics of inflamation and immunity. Staphylococcus aureus in humans and animals.
Professor Mark A Holmes
Professor in Microbial Genomics & Veterinary Science
Director of Studies in Clinical Veterinary Medicine (Churchill College)
+44 1223 337636
Dr  Robert   Kingsley
Elucidation of host-Pathogen interactions of enteric bacteria using a genomic and phylogenomic approach.
Dr Alison   Mather
Group Leader at Quadram Institute
Epidemiology, evolution and dynamics of foodborne and zoonotic bacteria, with a particular focus on antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
Dr Richard  A.  McKay
Wellcome Trust Research Fellow
Director of Studies for History and Philosophy of Science, Magdalene College
Photo of Gemma Murray
Group Leader in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, UCL
Dr Ankur   Mutreja
Department of Medicine/CITIID
Uses advanced bacterial genomics and metagenomics to understand the evolution and spread of pathogens and mine genomic data to identify robust, risk-informative diagnostic markers
Dr Claire  Raisen
Department of Veterinary Medicine
Postdoctoral Research Associate assisting Professor Mark Holmes
 Kathy  Raven
Research Associate, Department of Medicine
Translating pathogen genomics into clinical and public health microbiology, evolution and transmission of pathogenic enterococci.
 Mark  Reacher
Faculty of Clinical Medicine
HPA East of England Regional Epidemiology Unit
Institute of Public Health
Public Health Surveillance,Cryptosporidium, Chlamydia,trachoma, Norovirus, Health Care Associated Infections.
Dr Olivier  Restif
Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology
Fellow of Robinson College
Dr Sandra  Reuter
Hospital acquired bacterial infections and antibiotic resistance.
Dr Alex  Smith
Department of Veterinary Medicine
Molecular microbiologist using glycoengineering approaches to develop vaccines to prevent bacterial disease in chickens
Dr Hannah   Sore
Antibiotic drug discovery and diagnostic developement
 Martyn  F.  Symmons
Biomedical Researcher at Department of Veterinary Medicine
Currently I work on protein:protein interactions in innate immunity and phagocytosis using our confocal microscope facility in the Physics of Medicine centre. I also work on molecular modelling of signalling complexes and viral RNAs. I previously worked o
Dr Estee  Torok
1. Senior Program Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
2. Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases & Microbiology, Addenbrooke's Hospital
3. Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow, University of Cambridge
Dr Hendrik W.  van Veen
Professor of Molecular Pharmacology (grade 11)
Focus on Antimicrobial Resistance research
Dr Tracy  Wang
Animal pathogens, vaccine, antimicrobial resistance and functional genomics
Dr Lucy  Weinert
Wellcome Trust and Royal Society Henry Dale Fellow
Principal Investigator
01223 766247
Dr Martin  Welch
Department of Biochemistry
Regulation of microbial virulence and biofilms in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Quorum sensing, anti-bacterials, stringent response.
Professor Jeremy  Wells
Department of Veterinary Medicine
Host-microbial interactions, mucosal immunology, bacterial infection and immunity, intestinal-health related research.
Dr John  Wright
Innate immune sensing of bacterial pathogens