Centre for Synthetic Biology and the Bioeconomy

Staff Profile

Professor Heath Murray

Professor of Bacterial Genetics



Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow (2017-2022)

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


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

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


Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship (2017-2022)

Royal Society University Research Fellowship (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)




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 architecture of the bacterial chromosome origin, the essential activities of replication initiation proteins and the coordination of DNA synthesis with cell growth. 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.


Stepan Fenyk - Postdoc

Hannah Gaimster - Postdoc

Simone Pelliciari - Postdoc

Sara Pintar - Postdoc (co-PI with Julia Hubbard)

Frederic Schramm - Postdoc

Daniel Stevens - Postdoc (co-PI with Julia Hubbard)

Charles Winterhalter - Postdoc


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. Applicants should send a CV, along with two reference letters, directly to heath.murray@newcastle.ac.uk.


BMG2056 - DNA Replication & Recombination

CMB3000 - Undergraduate Research project

MMB8016 - Control of DNA Replication in Bacteria