Professor Jeff Errington
Director of the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology (CBCB)

  • Email: jeff.errington@ncl.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3235
  • Fax: +44 (0) 191 208 3205
  • Address: The Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology
    Baddiley-Clark Building
    Medical School
    Newcastle University
    Richardson Road
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE2 4AX
    United Kingdom

VACANCIES - We are always open to informal enquiries for PhD or Post-doctoral positions in this lab, and often find a way to fund good candidates. Please feel free to email me if you are interested (jeff.errington@ncl.ac.uk ).  

Graduate Students

James Brown, European Research Council / Faculty Studentship
Emily Perry, BBSRC Studentship
David Roberts, Barbour Studentship

Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Dr David Adams, Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr Patri Dominguez-Cuevas, BBSRC Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr Seoungjun Lee, Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr Romain Mercier, ERC Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr Kasia Mickiewicz, ERC Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr Fernando Santos-Beneit, Wellcome Trust postdoctoral Fellow

Senior Resesarch Associates

Dr Yoshikazu Kawai, ERC Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr Ling Juan Wu, Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellow

Senior Laboratory Technician

Mr Ian Selmes 

Appointments, honours and awards

2014 Novartis Medal and Prize, UK Biochemical Society
2013- Co-Director, Newcastle University Centre for Synthetic Biology and Bioexploitation
2012 Wellcome Senior Investigator Award
2012 BBSRC Health portfolio Working Group
2011 8th Sir William Dunn Lecture, Cambridge
2011 Mendel Lecture, Brno, Czech Republic
2010 European Research Council Advanced Investigator Grant
2010-2013 Director Biota Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ)
2009 Inaugural Joel Mandelstam Memorial Lecture, University of Oxford
2009 Fred Griffith Prize Review Lecture, Society for General Microbiology
2009- Editorial Board EMBO Journal, EMBO Reports
2008 Co-Chair Gordon Conference on Bacterial Cell Surfaces
2008 Kluyver Lecture of the Dutch Microbiological Society
2007- Founder, Director, Chairman, Demuris Ltd
2007 Highly Cited status on ISI Web of Science
2007-2009 Council of the Royal Society
2007 Elected to the American Academy of Microbiology
2007 Elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Science
2006-2009 Panel member of the Wellcome Trust Molecules, Genes and Cells Committee
2006 Co-Chair Gordon Conference on "Bacterial Cell Surfaces", USA
2005 Co-organiser 2nd ASM / SGM Conference on "Prokaryotic Development", Vancouver
2005-2012 Director of the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, Newcastle University
2005 Krampitz Lecture (USA)
2004 Elected to EMBO
2003 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society
2002 Co-organiser Juan March Foundation Workshop “Bacterial Cell Division”; Madrid
2002-2005 Elected Council Member, Society for General Microbiology
2002 Nordström Lecture (Sweden)
2001 Franco Tatò Memorial Lecture (Italy)
2000-2003 Genes and Developmental Biology Committee, BBSRC.
1998- Editorial Board, Current Opinion in Microbiology.
1998 Co-organiser of Colloquium for the American Society for Microbiology.
1999- Trustee to the EPA Cephalosporin Research Fund.
1998-2009 Scientific Founder, Director and Chief Scientific Officer, Prolysis Ltd.
1997-2002 BBSRC Senior (Professorial) Research Fellowship.
1997 Awarded title of Professor of Microbiology, Oxford.
1996 Co-Organiser 44th Harden Conference of the Biochemical Society.
1996- Editorial Board, Molecular Microbiology.
1993-1994 Visiting Scholar, Biochemistry Department, University of Sydney, Australia.
1993-1994 Cell Committment and Differentiation Initiative Steering group, BBSRC.
1992-1994 Editorial Board, Journal of Bacteriology.
1990-1993 Molecular Biology and Genetics Subcommittee, SERC.
1990-1993 Genetics and Molecular Biology Group, Society for General Microbiology.
1985 Awarded Royal Society University Research Fellowship.
1977 John Corran Prize for outstanding undergraduate work in genetics.

Funding

Work in the lab is supported by a major (LOLA) grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), a European Research Council Advanced Investigator Grant and a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award. Several students and post-docs are supported directly by Long Term Fellowships from EMBO and the EU Marie-Curie scheme.

Industrial Relevance

Early work from the Errington lab was exploited through a spin-out company Prolysis Ltd, which was recently acquired by an international anti-infectives comapny Biota Pharmaceuticals Inc (www.biota.com.au/).

A Newcastle University spin out company Demuris Ltd (www.Demuris.co.uk) has been established to exploit drug screening opportunities emerging from the Errington lab.

Patents

Several patents have been filed or granted on antibiotic screening methods and new antibiotic compounds. 

Research Interests

Bacterial cell biology: fundamental studies on the bacterial cell cycle and cell morphogenesis

Cell division, chromosome segregation, and the control of cell shape are some of the most fundamental problems in biology. This lab uses an array of biochemical, genetical and microscopic methods to study these problems in the bacterium Bacillus subtilis. B. subtilis is an extremely tractable experimental system, being the best characterized bacterium after E. coli. B. subtilis also offers the advantage of having two distinct cell cycle processes.

Impaired chromosome cutting and anucleate cell formation in a <i/>noc</i> mutantWhen growing normally it elongates and divides medially to produce two identical daughter cells. However, when starved, it sporulates, and this differentiation process begins with a highly asymmetric cell division. A number of breakthroughs in understanding have emerged by taking advantage of this dual life style. The new field of bacterial cell biology, which emerged in the last 10 years or so through the development of methods for imaging proteins and DNA in bacterial cells, has also had a remarkable impact. In particular, it has led to the recognition that B. subtilis and most other bacterial cells have homologues of actin and tubulin - central players in the cytoskeleton, which had previously been thought to be a eukaryotic invention. The actin homologues, called MreB proteins, form helical filaments that run around the periphery of the cell following a helical path (Jones et al. 2001 Cell 104, 913-922). They seem to control cell shape by governing the synthesis and maturation of various cell wall components (Daniel and Errington 2003 Cell 113, 767-776). Other work is aimed at understanding the replication and segregation of chromosomes and how this is coordinated with cell division (e.g. Wu and Errington 2004 Cell 117, 915-925; Murray and Errington, 2008 Cell 135, 74-84; Gruber and Errington, 2009, Cell 137, 685-96).

We recently initiated a project to look at cell-wall deficient (L-form) bacteria (Leaver et al., 2009, Nature 457, 849-853). This work promises to open up exciting new opportunities to study problems ranging from persistence and resistance of bacterial pathogens, through to ideas on the evolution of the first free living cells.

chromosome segregation protein Spo0J in B.subtilis

Errington's lab is part of the new Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology in Newcastle. This is one of the world's largest groupings working on fundamental studies of tractable model bacteria. The Errington lab works particularly closely with the labs of Richard Daniel, Leendert Hamoen and Heath Murray.

Informal enquiries from propective graduate students and post-docs are welcome at any time.

Undergraduate Teaching

MIC3043, Microbiology and Immunology 

MIC3043, Biomedicine Plus

CME8521, Innovation, IPR & Patents 

CMB3000 project

Postgraduate Teaching

MRes module MMB8016 (Molecular Microbiology)

Ph.D. supervisor