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Molecular and Cellular Microbiology

Microorganisms play critical roles in all major aspects of life on earth.

Microorganisms play critical roles in all major aspects of life on earth. They are by far the most abundant and diverse free-living organisms. They play central roles in human health, infectious diseases and global ecology. Microorganisms can be engineered as valuable tools for medical, biotechnological and industrial applications.

Our theme is built around the world-class Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology. We are a collaborative community with a common passion for research and learning about microorganisms. We have assembled a critical mass of researchers with expertise spanning:

  • cell biology
  • molecular genetics 
  • biochemistry 
  • structural biology 
  • bioinformatics 

In addition to the CBCB, our theme works closely with researchers in:

Our research benefits from high quality in-house facilities and technical expertise. In particular:


We aim to discover the mechanisms underpinning microbial processes such as: 

Research Impact

Our impact can be seen through our high calibre publications in Nature, Science and Cell. Professors Martin Embley and Jeff Errington are Fellows of the Royal Society. Several Theme members have been elected to the American and European Academies of Microbiology, and the European Molecular Biology Organization. 

Our research impacts a broad range of real-world applications:

Research Culture

We contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in the School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sport Sciences. As well as courses at our NUMed campus in Johor, Malaysia. We offer research projects for undergraduate and master students. 

We have a number of opportunities for PhD projects. We provide rigorous training for the next generation of microbiologists and have a thriving PhD cohort.

Education lead: Alistair Brown

EDI lead: Kevin Whitley