Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology

Staff Profile

Dr Heath Murray

Royal Society Research Fellow

Background

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

Royal Society University Research Fellow (2009-2017)

Postdoctoral Fellow (2004-2009) - Professor Jeff Errington, FRS FMedSci

Graduate Fellow (1998-2003) -  Professor Richard Gourse, PhD

Undergraduate Scholar (1994-1998) - Associate Professor Robert Simons, PhD

EDUCATION

Ph.D. Genetics  (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA)

B.S. Microbiology & Molecular Genetics (University of California-Los Angeles, USA)

HONORS AND AWARDS

Royal Society University Research Fellow (2009-2017)

Human Frontier Science Program Postdoctoral Fellowship (2005-2007)

European Molecular Biology Organization Postdoctoral Fellowship (2004)

USA National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship (2004; declined)

UW-Madison Genetics Department Outstanding Graduate Student Award (2003)

National Institutes of Health Genetics Training Fellowship (1998-2001)

Howard Hughes Undergraduate Research Fellowship (1996, 1997)

University of California Regents Scholarship (1994-1998)

 

Research

Bacterial DNA Replication Initiation

The Murray Lab studies bacterial DNA replication initiation in the model organism Bacillus subtilis. Using a combination of genetics, cell biology, molecular biology, and biochemistry, we are investigating the structure of the bacterial chromosome origin and the activity of replication initiation proteins required to unwind the DNA duplex and to load the replicative helicases. One of the key tools we have developed is an inducible artificial chromosome origin that allows us to bypass normally essential endogenous replication initiation factors. We are keen to explore the utility of more sophisticated synthetic replication systems, both for fundamental understanding of DNA replication and for exploitation in biotechnology. We are also utilizing our expertise to search for novel antibiotics that target DNA replication proteins.


Research Team

Christopher Blower - UG student

Omar Harran - PhD student 

Stuart Middlemiss - Masters student

Tom Richardson - Postdoc

Daniel Stevens - PhD student


Opportunities

Several postdoc positions to work on a Wellcome Trust funded project entitled "Investigating the physiological DNA replication initiation reaction" are available. Interested individuals should have a strong background in bacterial genetics, molecular biological, biochemistry, and/or high-throughput screening, and should have a demonstrated record of high productivity in peer-reviewed literature. Interested candidates should send a CV, along with two reference letters, directly to heath.murray@newcastle.ac.uk.

Teaching

BMG2056 - DNA Replication & Recombination

CMB3000 - Undergraduate Research project

MIC2026 - Microbial Cell Biology

MIC2027 - Extended Scientific Essay

MMB8016 - Control of DNA Replication in Bacteria

Publications