Our staff

The Institute of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham houses the largest group of microbiologists in the UK.

Established in late 2012, this cross-college venture has brought researchers together in the heart of campus. Currently, there are 50 independent principal investigators studying various aspects of bacteriology and eukaryotic microbiology. Members of the IMI are predominantly drawn from the School of Biosciences and from the College of Medical and Dental Sciences. Additional members include individuals from the Schools of ChemistryChemical Engineering and Mathematics with a research interest in bacteriology or eukaryotic microbiology.

Staff in the Institute of Microbiology and Infection

Dr Luke Alderwick

Dr Luke Alderwick

Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology
Director of the Birmingham Drug Discovery Facility

School of Biosciences

Dr Alderwick is a Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology in the School of Biosciences. His research group are interested in the biochemistry and molecular genetics that govern cell envelope assembly in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of human TB infection. Dr Alderwick is also the Director of the Birmingham Drug Discovery Facility, a state-of-the-art High Throughput Screening (HTS) ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 41 45472
Email
l.alderwick@bham.ac.uk

Dr Elizabeth R Ballou

Dr Elizabeth R Ballou

BBSRC AFL Research Fellow
Honorary Lecturer in Cellular Microbiology

School of Biosciences

Dr Liz Ballou is a cell biologist and fungal geneticist researching how human fungal pathogens survive and cause disease in the host. Her lab addresses the basic biological processes that allow proliferation and pathogenesis of the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans, which causes meningitis and affects 1 million people worldwide.

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 5572
Email
e.r.ballou@bham.ac.uk

Dr Manuel Banzhaf

Dr Manuel Banzhaf

Birmingham Fellow

School of Biosciences

Manuel works as a group leader in the Institute for Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham. His research explores the use of high-throughput approaches to phenotype pathogens. Those methods allow him to study a) the bacterial cell envelope, a cellular compartment harbouring many determinants and processes related to antimicrobial resistance; b) how differences in DNA ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 41 45586
Email
m.banzhaf@bham.ac.uk

Professor Gurdyal Besra

Professor Gurdyal Besra

Bardrick Professor of Microbial Physiology and Chemistry

School of Biosciences

Professor Besra heads a world-leading multidisciplinary team investigating key aspects of the microbial physiology of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis cell wall and the potential role of iNKT/CD1d therapeutics. He has been awarded and successfully managed over 50 research grants valued at over £35 million from The Wellcome Trust, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 41 58125
Email
g.besra@bham.ac.uk

Dr Apoorva Bhatt

Dr Apoorva Bhatt

Senior Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology
Program Leader- MSc Microbiology and Infection

School of Biosciences

Apoorva Bhatt - Research in 60 seconds videoDr. Bhatt is a Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology in the School of Biosciences. A prestigious Fellowship- a Career Development Award from the Medical Research Council-enabled him to set up his research group at the University of Birmingham in 2006. Dr.Bhatt’s research interests include studying pathogenic mycobacteria and how they cause disease, with a particular focus on Mycobacterium ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 41 45893
Email
a.bhatt@bham.ac.uk

Dr Jessica Blair

Dr Jessica Blair

Senior Lecturer

Institute of Microbiology and Infection

Dr Blair’s research is focused on understanding how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics with a particular interest in the role of efflux pumps. She is also looking at how we might be able to inhibit efflux pumps to combat antibiotic resistance.

 

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 7606
Email
j.m.a.blair@bham.ac.uk

Dr Douglas F. Browning

Dr Douglas F. Browning

Senior Research Fellow

School of Biosciences

Dr Doug Browning is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Biosciences and the Institute of Microbiology and Infection. His research focuses on three main areas: 1) how pathogenic bacteria regulate gene expression in response to multiple environmental and metabolic signals, 2) how the outer membranes of Gram-negative bacteria are assembled and how they can be disrupted and 3) the use of ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 5435
Email
d.f.browning@bham.ac.uk

Dr Michelle Buckner

Dr Michelle Buckner

Lecturer in Antimicrobial Resistance

Institute of Microbiology and Infection

Dr Buckner is a Lecturer in the Institute of Microbiology and Infection. Her team's research focuses on understanding plasmid-mediated antimicrobial resistance in clinically-relevant Gram-negative bacteria. Research in Dr Buckner’s group focuses primarily on:

  • Understanding how plasmids impact the host bacteria.
  • Understanding plasmid dynamics among populations.
  • Devising strategies to ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 415 8758
Email
m.buckner@bham.ac.uk

Professor Steve Busby

Professor Steve Busby

Professor of Biochemistry

School of Biosciences

Research in Steve Busby’s lab is concerned with understanding the molecular mechanisms that control gene expression in bacteria, with particular attention to studying the regulation of transcription initiation in Escherichia coli. Much of the recent work has focussed on the expression of virulence determinants in pathogenic strains.

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 5439
Email
s.j.w.busby@bham.ac.uk

Dr Michael J Cox

Dr Michael J Cox

Lecturer in Microbial Ecology and the Respiratory Microbiome

Institute of Microbiology and Infection

Dr Cox is a microbial ecologist who studies the bacteria that reside in the respiratory tract in the context of respiratory diseases. These can be chronic diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or Cystic Fibrosis, or acute infections such as following a viral infection. He is interested in the function of the respiratory microbiota and how it interacts with the human ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 4087
Email
m.j.cox@bham.ac.uk

Dr Lucy Crouch

Dr Lucy Crouch

Lecturer

School of Biosciences

Lucy is a glycobiologist and studies how gut microbes and pathogens use human-derived glycans as a nutrient source. Current projects include 1) looking at how infant-associated bacteria use glycans in breast milk and 2) how common human bacterial pathogens use mucins.

Lucy is part of the team at the Institute of Microbiology and Infection

Email
l.i.crouch@bham.ac.uk

Professor Adam Cunningham

Professor Adam Cunningham

Professor of Functional Immunity

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy

Adam Cunningham is a researcher based in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences’ Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy. In addition he is part of the vaccinology and immunomodulation theme in the newly formed cross-College Institute of Microbiology and Infection.

Adam's research primarily focuses on the how immune responses develop to vaccines and infection and how they impact on ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 4068
Email
a.f.cunningham@bham.ac.uk

Professor Tim Dafforn

Professor Tim Dafforn

Professor of Biotechnology

School of Biosciences

60 second video icon  Professor Tim Dafforn has established himself as an expert in biophysical spectroscopy with a keen interest in synthetic biology. Professor Dafforn has developed a number of projects from inception through to commercial realization and is currently the director of knowledge transfer for the college of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham.

Telephone
0121 414 5881
Email
t.r.dafforn@bham.ac.uk

Dr Felicity de Cogan

Dr Felicity de Cogan

Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellow

Institute of Microbiology and Infection

Felicity’s research interest is in novel clinical materials and she has filed 4 patents through the University of Birmingham. She has worked in the fields of drug delivery, Materials Science, drug delivery and microbiology and the development of antimicrobial agents for over 8 years and has high impact publications in the field including Angew. Chem and Soft Matter. She has developed ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 415 8433
Email
f.decogan@bham.ac.uk

Dr Rebecca A Drummond

Dr Rebecca A Drummond

Birmingham Fellow

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy

Rebecca Drummond is a fungal immunologist researching mechanisms of immunity that protect us from fungal pathogens, such as Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans.

Her lab is particularly interested in how organ-specific immune responses develop by studying the behaviour of tissue-resident myeloid cells during infection and the microbial response to the environment within host tissues.

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 3006
Email
r.drummond@bham.ac.uk

Dr Eva Frickel

Dr Eva Frickel

Senior Wellcome Trust Fellow
Reader

School of Biosciences

The Frickel lab studies interferon gamma-driven human host responses to infection and inflammation. We specifically focus on pathways driven by host guanylate binding proteins (GBPs) and ubiquitin. The pathogens we are most interested in are Toxoplasma gondii and Salmonella typhimurium. Our lab has a strong interest in automated artificial-intelligence-driven image analysis

Email
e.frickel@bham.ac.uk

Professor Joan Geoghegan

Professor Joan Geoghegan

Professor in Microbiology and Infection

Institute of Microbiology and Infection

Joan Geoghegan’s research focuses on defining bacterial factors underlying the success of Staphylococcus aureusas a human pathogen. She is interested in elucidating mechanisms used by the bacterium to interact with host proteins and cells and to resist clearance by the immune system and interference from other microbes. A major aim of this work is to identify new targets for the treatment ...

Email
j.geoghegan@bham.ac.uk

Professor David Grainger

Professor David Grainger

Professor of Molecular Microbiology

School of Biosciences

Professor Grainger is an expert in the field of bacterial chromosome biology. He relocated his laboratory to the University of Birmingham in March 2011 having previously established a successful research group at the University of Warwick. He is a life-long supporter of Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and attributes his capacity to cope with the frequent disappointments that befall a research ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 5437
Email
d.grainger@bham.ac.uk

Professor Laura Green OBE

Professor Laura Green OBE

Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of College of
Life and Environmental Sciences

Life and Environmental Sciences

Professor Laura Green is Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, leading the College, in excellence in education and research. She is a member of BBSRC Council and an advisor to the Academy of Medical Sciences. Laura is the University executive lead on sustainability.

Laura’s most notable research is on footrot, a complex bacterial disease of ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 3615
Email
l.e.green.1@bham.ac.uk

Professor Peter Hawkey

Professor Peter Hawkey

Emeritus Professor of Clinical and Public Health Bacteriology
Honorary Consultant

Institute of Microbiology and Infection

Peter has published over 300 research papers in the areas of molecular evolution and epidemiology of antibiotic resistance, Clostridium difficile, tuberculosis faecal microbiota transplantation and molecular diagnostics for infectious diseases. He is a regular speaker at international conferences and advisory boards on these topic areas.

Peter has edited two widely used clinical microbiology ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 3113/+44 (0)121 424 1240
Email
p.m.hawkey@bham.ac.uk

Dr William Horsnell

Dr William Horsnell

Reader in Immunity to Infection

Institute of Microbiology and Infection

William Horsnell is an immunologist focusing primarily on how helminth infections alter host immunity. He looks at how helminth elicited host responses influence host ability to control both the helminth infection and unrelated diseases. He studies these effects both using both model infections and also in human studies. Dr Horsnell is based at both the Universities of Birmingham and Cape ...

Email
w.horsnell@bham.ac.uk

Dr Damon Huber

Dr Damon Huber

Lecturer in Biochemistry

School of Biosciences

Damon Huber is interested in using a combination of biochemistry and molecular genetics to address complex biological problems in bacteria. The research in his lab is focused on the transport of proteins across the cytoplasmic membrane by the Sec machinery in bacteria, protein folding, and the connection between folding and transport. Damon is a Birmingham Fellow who joined the Institute of ...

Email
d.huber@bham.ac.uk

Dr Sara Jabbari

Dr Sara Jabbari

Senior Lecturer in Applied Mathematics

School of Mathematics

Sara Jabbari is Senior Lecturer in Applied Mathematics, a member of the School of Mathematics' Admission Team, and a BEaMS Staff Contact for students in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. 

Her research group uses an interdisciplinary approach to understand microbial behaviour, with a particular focus on using mathematical modelling to develop or improve novel treatments for ...

Telephone
+44 (0) 121 414 6196
Email
s.jabbari@bham.ac.uk

Prof. Robert Jackson

Prof. Robert Jackson

Chair in Tree Pathology
Deputy Head of School

School of Biosciences

Professor Rob Jackson is an expert in bacteria-plant interactions, making major contributions to the understanding of how pathogens cause disease and how pathogens evolve to evade host immunity. He also has interests in applied biology questions relating to biocontrol approaches to treat plant diseases.

Telephone
0121 414 5886
Email
r.w.jackson@bham.ac.uk

Dr Tim Knowles

Dr Tim Knowles

Lecturer in Biophysics

School of Biosciences

Tim Knowles joined the School of Biology at the University of Birmingham in November 2015 as a lecturer. Dr Knowles is a structural biologist with a strong track record in membrane protein research using techniques including Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Neutron Scattering, and is currently setting up an independent research group at Birmingham.

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 5393/+44 (0)121 414 44333
Email
t.j.knowles@bham.ac.uk

Professor Nick Loman

Professor Nick Loman

Professor of Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics

School of Biosciences

Nick works as Professor of Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics in the Institute for Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham. His research explores the use of cutting-edge genomics and metagenomics approaches to the diagnosis, treatment and surveillance of infectious disease. Nick has so far used high-throughput sequencing to investigate outbreaks of important ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 4145 421
Email
n.j.loman@bham.ac.uk

Professor Andrew Lovering

Professor Andrew Lovering

Professor of Structural Biology

School of Biosciences

I am a Professor of Structural Biology here at Birmingham, and my research interests involve utilising structural biology (and complementary techniques) to investigate protein function – many of these projects involve the unusual predatory bacterium Bdellovibrio; see “Research” tab and be enthused!

Here is a link to a presentation given at an EMBO meeting that provides some ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 41 45419
Email
a.lovering@bham.ac.uk

Prof Peter Lund

Prof Peter Lund

Emeritus Professor of Molecular Microbiology

School of Biosciences

Peter Lund is a molecular microbiologist with particular research interests in how bacteria respond to different stresses in their environment.  These are studied with a range of genetic and biochemical tools including high throughput methods.  He is currently retired from teaching and administration but runs an active research programme funded by BBSRC, the Leverhulme Trust, and the ...

Email
p.a.lund@bham.ac.uk

Professor Lynne Macaskie

Professor Lynne Macaskie

Professor of Applied Microbiology

School of Biosciences

Lynne Macaskie has been working for more than 25 years on applications of microorganisms in various areas of Biotechnology for the Environment. Her interests range from bioremediation of xenobiotics and heavy metals through to nuclear waste treatment and biomineral encapsulation and barrier agents for this.

Over the last 15 years she has moved into hydrogen biotechnology fuel cells for clean ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 41 45889
Email
l.e.macaskie@bham.ac.uk

Dr Megan McDonald

Dr Megan McDonald

Birmingham Fellow

School of Biosciences

Megan uses next-generation sequencing tools identify and characterise virulence genes from fungal pathogens of wheat and barley. To do this Megan has worked extensively with long-read de novo genome assembly, genome annotation and transposon annotation. Megan’s background is in population genetics of plant pathogens, studying their origins and global movement during her graduate studies. ...

Email
m.c.mcdonald@bham.ac.uk

Professor Alan McNally

Professor Alan McNally

Professor in Microbial Evolutionary Genomics
Director of Institute of Microbiology and Infection within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences

Institute of Microbiology and Infection

Alan McNally is a Professor in Microbial Genomics and works on the evolutionary genomics of pathogenesis and antimicrobial resistance in bacterial pathogens.  Alan has also been funded by the European Union, Medical Research Council and Royal Society.

Alan has a strong belief in the collaborative nature of genomics research with active collaborations in the UK, China, Germany, France, ...

Telephone
+44 (0) 121 414 4368
Email
a.mcnally.1@bham.ac.uk

Professor Tim Mitchell

Professor Tim Mitchell

Emeritus Professor of Microbial Infection and Immunity
Joint Microbiology Theme Lead SRMRC

Institute of Microbiology and Infection

Tim Mitchell is Emeritus Professor of Microbial Infection and Immunity in the Institute of Microbiology and Infection.

Tim has published over 200 research papers in scientific journals as well as reviews and book chapters in the fields of microbial pathogenesis and immunity. He has received major grants from Wellcome Trust, European Union, Medical Research Council and PATH. He has good links with ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 6779
Email
t.j.mitchell@bham.ac.uk

Dr Emma Monaghan

Dr Emma Monaghan

Senior Research Technician

School of Biosciences

Dr Emma Monaghan is a research scientist interested in understanding how bacterial pathogens cause disease and persist. Emma currently works in an interdisciplinary team of scientists and mathematicians on research projects investigating the underlying biology and epidemiology of footrot in sheep. 

https://www.birmingh ...

Telephone
+44(0) 121 415 8433
Email
e.monaghan@bham.ac.uk

Dr Patrick Moynihan

Dr Patrick Moynihan

Senior Research Fellow/BBSRC David Phillips Fellow

School of Biosciences

Dr. Moynihan is a Senior Research Fellow and BBSRC David Phillips Fellow in the School of Biosciences. His group employs multi-disciplinary approach to study the pathogenic mycobacteria. He is primarily interested in the molecular rules that underpin complex interactions between bacteria and their host, with an emphasis on the modulation of cell wall structures.

Telephone
+44 (01)21 415 8123
Email
p.j.moynihan@bham.ac.uk

Dr Matt O'Shea

Dr Matt O'Shea

Honorary Clinical Lecturer
Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology and Lecturer in Defence Pathology
Surgeon Lieutenant Commander, Royal Navy

Institute of Microbiology and Infection

Dr Matt O’Shea is a military clinical academic based in College of Medical and Dental Sciences’ Institute of Microbiology and Infection. His research primarily focuses on understanding human immune responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosisand using this knowledge translationally to improve patient care by developing novel diagnostics and treatments and to identify vaccine candidates. ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 4068
Email
m.k.oshea@bham.ac.uk

Dr Tim Overton

Dr Tim Overton

Reader in Microbial Biotechnology

School of Chemical Engineering

Dr Tim Overton is a biochemist and molecular microbiologist who is interested in applying molecular biology and single-cell techniques to understand and develop bioprocesses. He is active in microbial flow cytometry research and collaborates widely with bioprocess engineers, molecular microbiologists, cell biologists and environmental microbiologists to develop new methods of answering ...

Telephone
(+44) (0) 121 414 5306
Email
t.w.overton@bham.ac.uk

Professor Laura Piddock

Professor Laura Piddock

Professor of Microbiology
Currently seconded 80% FTE as the Director of Scientific Affairs, Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership

Institute of Microbiology and Infection

Laura Piddock is Professor of Microbiology. Since she started her PhD in 1982, she has been at the forefront of antimicrobial research.

Laura started her career in a clinical environment and has successfully integrated this background with academic research. She has published over 190 original articles and 20 non-research policy original articles and reviews in international peer reviewed ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 6966
Email
l.j.v.piddock@bham.ac.uk

Dr Samuel Lara Reyna

Dr Samuel Lara Reyna

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

School of Biosciences

Samuel Lara is a researcher based in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences’ Institute of Microbiology and Infection. He is part of Dr Frickel’s laboratory which investigates mechanisms of human innate defence against pathogens, with a particular interest in Toxoplasma gondii and Salmonella typhimurium. 

Samuel’s research primarily focuses in innate immune cells ...

Email
s.j.larareyna@bham.ac.uk

Professor Jonathan Ross

Professor Jonathan Ross

Professor of Sexual Health and HIV

Institute of Microbiology and Infection

Jonathan Ross is Professor of Sexual Health and HIV and a Consultant Physician at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

His research interests relate to gonorrhoea, Mycoplasma genitalium, HIV, bacterial vaginosis and sexual health care service delivery.

Telephone
+44 (0)121 237 5721
Email
j.d.ross@bham.ac.uk

Dr Amanda Eve Rossiter

Dr Amanda Eve Rossiter

Lecturer in Prokaryotic Infection Biology

Institute of Microbiology and Infection

Dr Rossiter's research focuses on bacterial pathogenesis, with a particular interest in Salmonella spp. and Helicobacter pylori infections. Dr Rossiter is investigating how H. pylori-mediated modulation of the hosts immune system and gastrointestinal microbiome can lead to the development of gastric cancer or, on the contrary, protect against auto-immune disorders, such as Inflammatory Bowel ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 4146562
Email
a.e.rossiter@bham.ac.uk

Enea Sancho-Vaello

Enea Sancho-Vaello

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow

Institute of Microbiology and Infection

Dr. Sancho-Vaello is interested in targeting transcriptional factors in order to inhibit the antibiotic efflux in Enterobacteriaceae. She is also interested in the study of the structure-function relationships in proteins through crystallographic, biochemical and biophysical approaches.

Telephone
0121 414 5435
Email
e.sancho-vaello.1@bham.ac.uk

Professor Chris Thomas

Professor Chris Thomas

Professor of Molecular Genetics

School of Biosciences

Chris Thomas - Research in 60 seconds videoProfessor Thomas joined the University of Birmingham in 1980 as a Lecturer in the Department of Genetics and has been Professor of Molecular Genetics since 1991. He is an internationally recognised authority on bacterial plasmid and mobile DNA and within the university has championed Biotechnology. He was also a founder of the successful Medici Programme that encourages development of ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 41 45903
Email
c.m.thomas@bham.ac.uk

Dr Hung-Ji Tsai

Dr Hung-Ji Tsai

Lecturer

School of Biosciences

Dr Hung-Ji Tsai is interested in how aneuploidy, an unbalanced genomic state with gain or loss of chromosomes, enables rapid adaptation to diverse environment. His research focus is to understand the distinct cellular processes driven by aneuploidy (and other large-scale genome instability) during the acquisition of antifungal drug resistance.

Email
h.tsai@bham.ac.uk

Professor Willem van Schaik

Professor Willem van Schaik

Director of the Institute of Microbiology and Infection
Professor of Microbiology and Infection

Institute of Microbiology and Infection

Willem van Schaik is Professor of Microbiology and Infection in the Institute of Microbiology and Infection (IMI) and is Director of IMI.

He has published more than 80 papers in the field of molecular microbiology, the human microbiome and antibiotic resistance. He has received major grants from BBSRC, the European Commission , the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 6913
Email
w.vanschaik@bham.ac.uk

Professor David Withers

Professor David Withers

Professor of Immune Regulation

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy

David Withers is a Wellcome Trust funded Senior Research Fellow

Research in the Withers Lab is focused on understanding how memory CD4 T cell responses are generated and maintained, in particular the key cellular interactions that provide critical signals in this process. We are currently testing the role of RORgt-expressing group 3 Innate Lymphoid Cells versus other immune cell populations as ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 8516
Email
d.withers@bham.ac.uk