Microbial cell surface
Determining the interactions that microbes make with their environment, how they attach to surfaces and each other.
Aims of the research
The cell surface determines the interactions that microbes make with their environment, including how they attach to surfaces and each other as well as how they are ‘seen’ by the host immune system. It is also a key target for antibiotics, many of which work by disrupting cell wall production or the integrity of the cell membrane. Much of the research within the Institute of Microbiology and Infection focuses on understanding how microbial surfaces are built and maintained as well as on developing strategies to target them for therapeutic gain.
We are interested in how bacterial and fungal cell walls change during infections and how microbes solve the major biological challenge of importing and exporting molecules across this formidable barrier. As part of the international BactiVac collaboration, we are identifying bacterial surface components that we can use to produce better vaccines. This is done via our state-of-the-art drug discovery platforms, we are identifying novel compounds that may help combat antimicrobial resistance by attacking unique components of pathogen cell surfaces.