Professor David Grainger PhD

Professor David Grainger

School of Biosciences
Professor of Molecular Microbiology

Contact details

W127, School of Biosciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

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 scientist to this. Take a look at what's currently going on in the Grainger lab here.



  • PhD (University of Birmingham)
  • PGCE (University of Wolverhampton)
  • BSc (University of Birmingham)


David’s first degree (Biochemistry) was awarded by the University of Birmingham in 1999. Following this, David trained as a teacher at the University of Wolverhampton (2000). Keen to reengage with the cutting edge research that he had been exposed to as an undergraduate, David returned to Birmingham to complete his PhD studies (2004). Employment as a post-doctoral research associate followed. During this time David developed the use of high-throughput techniques to map gene regulatory events in bacteria.

In 2008 David was awarded a prestigious Career Development Fellowship by the Wellcome Trust and used this grant to set up his research group at the University of Warwick. During this time David established collaborations with biophysical scientists and began studying DNA and its interactions at the single-molecule level.

In 2011 David relocated his research group to Birmingham. His current research is focused on deciphering the chromosome biology of pathogenic bacteria.


David teaches the bacterial cell cycle (Bio317), microbial genomics (BioM25 & BioM13) and research developments (BioM26). He is module lead on BioM25: "omics of pathogens".

Postgraduate supervision

David is always keen to welcome enthusiastic individuals to the lab. Contact him directly to discuss projects currently available. Details of funding available for PhD students in Birmingham are available here


Research Theme within School of Biosciences: Molecular Microbiology


Bacterial chromosome biology, pathogenicity and antibiotic resistance mechanisms; high-throughput analysis of DNA binding events; single molecule analysis 

Work in David’s laboratory is focused on understanding the biology of bacterial chromosomes. Consequently, he is interested in a broad range of biological processes that directly require the interaction of DNA with other cellular machinery. His current research interests include understanding how i) gene regulation is managed on a chromosome-wide scale ii) pathogens control the production of toxins and iii) molecular pathways to multiple antibiotic resistance.

Other activities

David is keen to engage with the public on scientific topics and was recently a runner up in the “science snaps” competition that utilised scientific imagery to arouse public interest in the sciences. David's laboratory run a Twitter feed where they discuss current issues in science. Take a look and find out what life is like in the Grainger lab!