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Molecular Biosciences


The primary focus of the Molecular Biosciences Research Cluster is 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

  • Gordon Allan
    Postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) & its causative agent, porcine circovirus 2 [PCV2]
  • Chris Allen
    Prokaryote biochemistry; biocatalysis and biotransformation
  • Gerry Brennan
    Parasite ultrastructure and neurobiology; anthelmintic action
  • Katrina Campbell
    Chemical contaminants, toxins, analytical and immunological methods (biosensors)
  • Lisa Connolly
    Food safety; endocrine disrupting chemicals in the food chain and health effects
  • Geraldine Cuskelly
    Red meat nutrition; effects of food processing on biomarkers of health; diet & cancer
  • Chris Elliott
    Natural toxins, drugs and biosensor technology
  • Ian Fairweather
    Drug action and resistance in liver fluke chemotherapy
  • Alexander Galkin
    Bioenergetics, Mitochondrial Complex I, Hypoxia
  • Yun Yun Gong
    Mycotoxins; Food contaminants and their adverse effects on human health
  • Irene Grant
    Microbiological food safety; Novel detection methods; Emerging pathogens
  • Brian Green
    Intestinal peptide hormones, therapeutic biomolecules
  • John Hallsworth
    Stress mechanisms and responses in microbial cells and ecosystems
  • Tassos Koidis
    Food Chemistry, food bioactives, processing technology affecting quality, functional foods
  • 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
  • Andy Meharg
    How plants adapt to survive to extreme conditions
  • John McGrath
    Molecular microbiology and bioremediation; Microbial ecology
  • Mark Mooney
    Proteomics, Biomarkers, Multiplex assays, Growth promoters
  • 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
  • Paulo Prodöhl
    Population and conservation genetics; molecular methods.
  • John Quinn
    Biochemistry and genetics of environmental bacteria
  • Mark Robinson
    Parasite proteomics, pathogen proteases and immunomodulators
  • Chen Situ
    Food Safety, Drugs residues detection, Natural drug discovery, and Nutraceuticals
  • David Timson
    Protein-protein interactions; cytoskeletal proteins; enzymology
  • Alan Trudgett
    Parasite therapeutics; genetic diversity in parasite populations

Opportunities for postgraduate research

Studentships are available for postgraduate research.  The closing date for most applications is 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.