Professor Jan Löwe
Medical Research Council, Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Jan Löwe’s group focuses on the structure and function of key proteins of the cytoskeleton in bacteria, using all the tools of modern cell and structural biology. Among the molecules he is studying, many of which act as filament-driven motors, are the complex structures involved in bacterial cell division and bacterial chromosome and plasmid segregation. Jan completed his PhD at the Max-Planck Institute in Martinsried with Robert Huber. He then joined the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC-LMB) as an EMBO long-term fellow in 1996, becoming a group leader in 1998. He won a Leverhulme Prize for Biochemistry in 2002, the EMBO Gold Medal in 2007 and has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2008 and a Fellow of Leopoldina in 2013. He is currently joint heaad of the Structural Studies Division at MRC-LMB.
Professor Mervyn Bibb
John Innes Centre, Norwich
Mervyn Bibb’s research focuses on understanding antibiotic production and its regulation in actinomycetes, the major source of clinically useful antibiotics. The resulting knowledge is used not only to understand how these complex molecules are made, but also to engineer the producing organisms using synthetic biology to make potentially improved derivatives. Genome sequencing has revealed that actinomycetes have the potential to produce many more natural products than previously thought, many of which are likely to possess anti-microbial activity; work in his group also focuses on the activation of these silent biosynthetic gene clusters.
He has published over 170 papers and is an Honorary Professor at UEA Norwich, Imperial College London, the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, and Wuhan University. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Society of Biology, the American Academy of Microbiology and of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Work in his group led to the formation of two JIC spin-out companies, Novacta Biosystems and Procarta Biosystems, of which he is co-founder.
Professor Simon Foster
Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield
The Foster laboratory has worked on bacterial cell biology for over 20 years from basic studies through to translation, to develop vaccines and novel antimicrobials for the control of antibiotic resistant bacteria. A key interest is in bacterial cell structure and dynamics, associated with which we have a keen interest in the implementation of super-resolution microscopy in bacterial cell biology. Another focus of the laboratory has been on S. aureus, host-pathogen interaction and vaccine/antimicrobial development, taking our basic findings and translating these into practical outcomes. This has involved substantial industry funding and has ultimately led to the establishment of a spinout company, Absynth Biologics to develop novel vaccines.
Find out more about the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology Symposia.