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Lab members

Head of Lab


Emma L. Denham - I graduated from the University of Leicester with a BSc in Genetics. Having discovered a passion for microbiology in the year I spent at the University of the Algarve, Portugal in the lab of Leonor Faleiro, investigating autolysins in Helicobacter pylori, I moved to the then Institute for Animal Health, Compton, UK. Under the supervision of Jamie Leigh (now at the Nottingham Vet School) and Phil Ward (now at Oxford) I completed my PhD, investigating the lipoprotein processing enzymes in Streptococcus uberis. After completion of my PhD I moved to the lab of Jan Maarten van Dijl, University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands for my post-doctoral period. I switched bacterial species again, studying the Gram-positive model organism Bacillus subtilis and the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. I was involved in several EU consortia, including BaSysBio and BaSynthec and became interested in all levels of regulation. Through studying B. subtilis gene expression in real time using Live Cell Array technology, Time-lapse microscopy and Tiling arrays, I identified several novel aspects of genetic regulation. I also developed an interest in the mechanisms bacteriocins use to kill their target organisms. In May 2013 I joined the Microbiology and Infection Unit, Warwick Medical School as an Assistant Professor of Molecular Bacteriology. My lab concentrates on understanding the biology of regulatory RNAs, using B. subtilis as a model. I am a member of the Bacell steering group and an active member of the Microbiology Society (member of Communications Committee).

Post Doctoral Reasearchers


Josie McKeown - studied for a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry and Genetics at the University of Nottingham between 2006 and 2009. Following this, she completed a PhD in Molecular Microbiology at the University of Nottingham, in the laboratories of Professor Paul Williams and Professor Miguel Cámara. During her PhD, Josie focussed on trying to further the understanding of both transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation in the opportunistic pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Her work included determining new targets of two component systems in P. aeruginosa, and also involved searching for novel quorum quenching compounds to inhibit the las, rhl and pqs quorum sensing systems in this bacterium. Additionally, Josie investigated the diverse characteristics of P. aeruginosa wound isolates, such as quorum sensing abilities, the capacities to produce various virulence determinants, and their different antibiotic resistances. After the completion of her studies, Josie continued to research regulatory mechanisms in P. aeruginosa and found an interest in the Gac/Rsm pathway that is linked to small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) called rsmY and rsmZ. Since this time, Josie has developed a keen interest in regulatory RNAs and thus in 2014 became a Research Fellow in Molecular Bacteriology within the Denham group, where she investigates the roles sRNAs play in the different life styles of B. subtilis. In her current role, Josie will provide new insights into the function of sRNAs, the conditions under which they are expressed and their potential targets.

PhD Students


Holly Hall - Studied for a BSc in Pharmacology at the University of Wolverhampton. Holly is studying the role regulatory RNAs play in the developmental process of sporulation.





SwatiSwati Mahapatra - Studying in vivo RNA-Protein and RNA-RNA intereactions and is funded by the University of Warwick Chancellors PhD Student.


Undergraduate Students

Adam Callan Sidat - Placement student 2016-2017 funded by the Noreen Murray Award

Previous Laboratory Members

Jonathan Abrahams - Undergraduate placement student (2014-2015) funded by the Noreen Murray Award

Nick Bailey - Undergraduate placement student (2015-2016) funded by the Noreen Murray Award

Stanley Ho - Undergraduate Summer student (2015) funded by the Society of General Microbiology Harry Smith Vacation studentship