Microbiology and Infection

Tackling the global challenge of infectious diseases for the benefit of society.

Research in this area is diverse, ranging from single-molecule analysis of microbial components to real-time investigation of infection outbreaks. We conduct global research on key pathogens of medical and veterinary importance in both the developed and developing world.

Our work is collaborative: as well as expert microbiologists, our researchers include immunologists, biochemists and chemists. Together they bring a technical expertise to next-generation areas of study, from DNA sequencing to structural biology.

Our aim is to harness the power of fundamental microbiology research to solve global threats to humanity. These include age-old diseases like Tuberculosis, newly emerging pathogens such as Zika and, most importantly, the enormous challenge of antimicrobial resistance.

With one of the largest communities of academic microbiologists in the world, we are at the vanguard of innovative research into combatting these threats. We do this by developing new approaches in three areas: diagnosis, treatment and prevention.  By bringing together a diverse community of internationally-recognised researchers, we are developing strategies that range from novel antimicrobial surfaces, through hand-held DNA sequencers to novel drugs and vaccines.  At the heart of all of these approaches is an unwavering dedication to ground-breaking, fundamental microbiology research – something that has been integral to the University of Birmingham since its foundation more than a century ago. 

We are continuously investing in major developments, expansion and improvements to our clinical research facilities. 

Find out more about our Research Facilities

“We are tackling infectious threats ranging from antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospitals to viral outbreaks in developing countries. Our researchers are developing pioneering new technologies to track the spread of pathogens, identify new antimicrobial drugs and stimulate the human immune system, in order to provide powerful new tools in the fight against infection."

Professor Robin May

Professor Robin May

Director of the Institute of Microbiology and Infection

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  • Institute of Microbiology and Infection

    Research within the Institute is diverse, encompassing fundamental science of model organisms to the biochemical and biophysical analysis of microbial components to transnational research on key pathogens of medical and veterinary importance.

  • Confronting Antimicrobial Resistance (CARe)

    Infections have been the major cause of mortality in human history. In low- and middle-income countries, infections remain a major cause of mortality, due to poor sanitation, and lack of access to antibiotics and vaccines.

  • How do you stop outbreaks becoming epidemics in real time?

    It is a time of change for those at the cutting edge of genome sequencing. Birmingham researchers placed genomic sequencing at the heart of the Ebola and Zika outbreak response.

  • Healthcare Technologies Institute

    The University of Birmingham's experts in chemical engineering, biomedical science, computer science, applied mathematics, chemistry and physics are working together to advance new technologies and treatments that encourage better tissue healing and rehabilitation tools to ensure people live longer,

  • Engineering new medical systems to fight antimicrobial resistance

    Our researchers are helping to increase life expectancy by finding new ways to combat antibiotic resistance to fight infections globally.

  • Microbeads to combat infection show promise in burn wound simulations

    Computer simulations of microscopic, protein-coated beads that block bacteria from binding to host cells suggest that the microbeads could help reduce or eliminate bacterial infections in burn wounds.

  • Key staff

    Find out about our researchers who work collaboratively within this field.

  • Media experts

    The University of Birmingham is one of the UK's leading universities for research and can offer expertise to the media on many different subjects.

  • Policy experts

    University of Birmingham researchers and academic experts are working across all major policy areas, this guide aims to enable policy makers to contact researchers quickly and efficiently.