Key Research Interests

Our main research interest is studying bacterial development of Streptomyces coelicolor, a Gram-positive, filamentous bacterium. Unlike most bacteria that divide by binary fission, in Streptomyces coelicolor long, multigenomic filaments are formed with ocasional septa and regular branching. Cell division is completed only during sporulation when 50-100 sporulation septa are laid down synchronously in the aerial hyphae generating unigenomic spore compartments.

Current Research Projects 

  • Bacterial polarised growth and its control by cytoskeletal proteins
  • Coiled-coil proteins as synthetic scaffolds
  • Chromosome organisation during hyphal growth
  • Signalling in bacterial development
  • The role of specific RNA polymerase holoenzymes controlling development and stress response
  • Global characterisation of spore maturation and germination

MSc (Master of Science) training by research is available in my laboratory. Please arrange a meeting with me if you are interested. Click here for further details. 

Life in our Research Group 

Our laboratory focuses on the biology of the model organism for bacterial development and antibiotic production, Streptomyces coelicolor. This exciting bacterium forms long, multigenomic filaments with complex branching patterns and at the end of its life cycle generates unigenomic spores ready for dispersal. Importantly, streptomycetes are the producers of more than 70% of the commercially available antibiotics. We are studying the mechanism of regulation of the complex developmental cycle of Streptomyces, including studies on gene expression, intra- and intercellular signalling and bacterial cytoskeletal proteins controlling cell shape and cell cycle using molecular biology, biochemistry and cell biology techniques. For localisation studies we access the Henry Wellcome Imaging laboratory for “state of the art” microscopy technologies. We have lab meetings and departmental seminars where we discuss experimental progress and recent publications. To present our results we regularly attend national and international conferences, such as the Society of General Microbiology meetings, the International Symposium on the Biology of Actinomycetes and Meetings on Bacterial Development.

PhD Positions

We are seeking applicants for a PhD Studentship on “Coiled-coil proteins as nano-wire scaffolds”. Please contact me for any further information on this project.

Click here for current PhD opportunities in Biological Sciences. But feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

Postdocs & Fellows

I am always happy to discuss possibilities for postdoctoral work and collaborations. Possible funding routes include fellowship appliactions, e.g. EU Marie Curie fellowships, with me acting as sponsor, or grant applications with you as a named postdoc.

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