Microbes and Pathogen Biology

The primary focus of the Microbe and Pathogen Biology research group is the study of fundamental biological processes in cells, microbes and parasites as well as applied processes in environmental microbiology, parasitology and disease control.  The group provides a broad platform of fundamental and applied expertise in the biosciences, including: molecular biology; cell biology and cell signalling; microbial biochemistry and genomics; stress metabolism; bioremediation; parasite biology, physiology and therapeutics; protein biochemistry, expression and engineering; peptide/protein modelling and synthesis; nucleic acid structure and function; bioimaging.

This diverse array of interests, ranging from protein modelling, through microbiology to parasite control, is linked by common approaches within the molecular biosciences that are aimed at exploiting the ongoing genomic, transcriptomic/proteomic revolution.  The molecular microbiology component is heavily involved with QUESTOR, a successful International Industry/University Co-operative Research Centre.  The food safety and nutritional research elements are linked within the Institute for Global Food Securty which aims to exploit cutting edge technologies to drive a competitive and sustainable agricultural sector.  The group has a wide range of strong international links across Europe, Asia and North America.

Research staff

  • Chris Allen 
    Prokaryote biochemistry; biocatalysis and biotransformation
  • John Dalton  (Director of Research)
    Pathogen genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, vaccines and immunology
  • Johnathan Dalzell
    Parasitic nematode behaviour and molecular biology; small RNAs; transcriptomics; transgenic approaches to control
  • Alexander Galkin 
    Bioenergetics, Mitochondrial Complex I, Hypoxia
  • Irene Grant
    Microbiological food safety; Novel detection methods; Emerging pathogens
  • John Hallsworth 
    Stress mechanisms and responses in microbial cells and ecosystems
  • Edel Hyland
    Adaptation and molecular evolution of infectious yeast; Histone post-translational modifications
  • Mike Larkin 
    Biochemistry and genetics of biodegradation by bacteria and archaea
  • Chris Law
    Structure and function of integral membrane proteins
  • Fuquan Liu
    Dynamics, regulatory mechanisms and functions of co-transcriptional RNA processing in plants
  • Nikki Marks 
    Parasite biochemistry; Endectocide target discovery; Neurobiology
  • Aaron Maule 
    Molecular parasitology; Drug target discovery and validation
  • John McGrath 
    Molecular microbiology and bioremediation; Microbial ecology
  • Angela Mousley 
    Helminth neuropeptide signalling systems
  • John Nelson 
    Cell biology; Cell signalling and receptors
  • Kostya Panov 
    Pol I transcription, molecular & cellular mechanisms involved in the regulation of rRNA transcription
  • John Quinn 
    Biochemistry and genetics of environmental bacteria
  • Mark Robinson
    Parasite proteomics, pathogen proteases and immunomodulators
  • Linda Stewart
    Bacterial cell surface mapping and rapid diagnostics

Opportunities for postgraduate research

Studentships are available for postgraduate research.  The closing date for most applications was Friday 23 January, 2015.

There is a possibility that projects may be DEL funded (Department for Employment and Learning Studentships).  For further information on eligibility for funding, please visit the DEL website.

EBS lunchtime research seminars


Date Time Room Speaker Institution Talk Title Guest of
09/02/2016 13:00 MBC LT1 Daniel Smale Marine Biological Association Marine community ecology? Nessa O'Connor
18/02/2016 13:00 MBC G23ST Mia Bengtsson Greifswald University, Germany Epiphytes of seaweeds Billy Hunter
23/02/2016 13:00 MBC G28 Rebecca Kordas Imperial College London Ecological communities and species interactions Nessa O'Connor
01/03/2016 13:00 MBC LT1 Katrina Macintosh Queen's University Belfast (Post-doc)    
08/03/2016 13:00 MBC LT1 Emmanuel Reynaud University College Dublin Eukaryogenesis and the cybertype : an integrative biology tale Patrick Collins
15/03/2016 13:00 MBC LT1 José Melo Ferreira University of Porto, Portugal Hybridisation and reticulate evolution Neil Reid
22/03/2016 10:00 to 17:00 MBC LT1 Sarah Marshall Messerli Research Institute, Vienna Social cognition and behavior, Personality Gareth Arnott
05/04/2016 13:00 MBC LT1 Evelyn Keaveney QUB GAP Radiocarbon dating Billy Hunter
13/04/2016 13:00 MBC G28 2nd Year Symposium QUB (2nd Years) 19 students @ 20mins each = 6.3hrs = WHOLE DAY SYMPOSIUM  
19/04/2016 13:00 MBC LT1 Kyriacos Kareklas QUB (3rd Years)    
26/04/2016 13:00 MBC LT1 Lydia Bach & Ciaran Laverty QUB (3rd Years)   Mark Emmerson
03/05/2016 13:00 MBC LT1 Mary Friel & Erin Walsh QUB (3rd Years)   Hansjoerg Kunc
10/05/2016 13:00 MBC LT1 Elizabeth Finch & Rory Lunny QUB (3rd Years)   Neil Reid
24/05/2016 13:00 MBC 01.307 Hannah White & Siobhán Porter QUB (3rd Years)   Jack Lennon
31/05/2016 13:00 MBC 01.307 Ekhlas Al-Shareefi & Charlotte Miller QUB (3rd Years)   Gareth Arnott