Centre for Synthetic Biology and the Bioeconomy

Staff Profile

Dr Phillip Aldridge

Senior Lecturer



BSc. - Leicester 1993
PhD. - Leicester and Heidelberg (Germany) 1998

Previous Positions

1996 to 2000 Division of Mol. Microbiology, Biozentrum, University of Basel, Basel, Switerland
2000 to 2003 Dept. of Microbiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA


Society for General Microbiology
Society for Applied Microbiology


Research Interests

The flagellum is a unique molecular machine driving bacterial movement through liquid environments. Bacteria are propelled forward by rotation of an external long whip-like flagellar filament. Rotation of the filament is achieved via the action of a universal joint known as the hook and a basal motor anchored into the bacterial cell envelope. The flagellar filament is a major antigen recognized by hosts during bacterial infections. A significant number of bacterial species encode multiple copies of the filament building block - flagellin. A complex regulatory network controls the assembly of the flagellum and the number per cell, which varies between different species.


Our research focuses on the fundamental understanding of how bacteria regulate flagellar assembly and how a cell coordinates the assembly of unrelated molecular machines. We study how bacterial species such as the pathogen Salmonella enterica maintain a discrete number of flagellar per cell during cell growth and division. We complement our study of flagellar abundance with research to understanding how a filament is assembled from multiple flagellins, a trait maintained by many bacterial species. We are also using our work on flagellar systems to begin to investigate the distribution and localization of other molecular machines in the bacterial cell envelope and how they spatially interact with each other to maintain their functional output.


Other Expertise


My expertise utilise Bacterial genetics to study fundmental apsects of the bacterial life cycle. My laboratory uses, protein biochemistry, structural biology and microscopic techniques to validate our genetic findings.


I also have a strong background in bacterial pathogenesis of both Animal and Plant Hosts. During my career I have gained valuable experience working with a range of bacterial pathogens.


Postgraduate Supervision


I am prepared to supervise PhD. students on projects that exploit bacterial genetics to study bacterial protein secretion.


These projects would not be restricted to bacterial pathogens but would also encompass non-pathogenic bacterial species such as Caulobacter crescentus.



Undergraduate Teaching

Currently Teaching on MIC2026, MIC2025, MIC2028, MIC3043 and MIC3047

Postgraduate Teaching

PhD. Supervisor for 4 students