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Dr Allister Crow

Associate Professor


Phone: (contact via email or Teams please)

Office: IBRB 2.27

Twitter: @allister_crow

Research Clusters

Microbiology & Infectious Disease

Howard Dalton Centre for Mechanistic Enzymology

Vacancies and Opportunities

The Crow group welcomes:

  • PhD applications through the MIBTP and MRCDTP schemes.
  • Mbio projects in structural microbiology.

Please contact me to discuss potential projects.


Google Scholar

Research Interests

Allister Crow is a Structural Microbiologist based in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick.

My research focuses on proteins involved in bacterial cell division and antibiotic resistance.

I am especially interested in the roles played by Type VII ABC transporters and the proteins they collaborate with.

Our recent work focuses on how the bacterial peptidoglycan layer is broken during division by amidases that are activated by the FtsEX-EnvC system (Cook & Baverstock 2023 PNAS, Cook 2021 PNAS).


Research Projects

Bacterial cell division and outer membrane integrity

The cell envelope is a bacterium's first defence against antibiotics and the environment.

The peptidoglycan layer forms the heart of this envelope, consisting of a molecular mesh that protects each bacterium from osmotic stress.

In Gram negative bacteria, the peptidoglycan layer also forms the attachment point for a second 'outer membrane' that further protects against large antibiotics, detergents, and the immune system.

Work in the Crow lab explores the structure and function of bacterial proteins that remodel the peptidoglycan layer during division and maintain envelope integrity.

Understanding how cell envelope proteins work addresses fundamental questions on how bacteria divide and protect themselves from antibiotics.

Type VII ABC transporters

ABC transporters are ATP-powered membrane proteins that typically move substrates across biological membranes. Type VII ABC transporters work differently, using transmembrane conformational change to couple ATP hydrolysis in the cytoplasm with work on the other side of the bacterial membrane.

Type VII ABC transporters have roles in cell division, antibiotic resistance, biofilm management, detoxification and lipoprotein trafficking and may represent important future antibiotic targets.

Photostable Fluorescent Proteins (mStayGold)

In collaboration with colleagues in the Warwick Medical School, we have also just described a new monomeric and highly photostable fluorescent protein called mStayGold (Ivorra-Molla 2023 Nat BiotechnolLink opens in a new window).


The Crow lab use a combination of structural biology and microbiological techniques to address fundamental questions in microbiology. We hold a special affinity for x-ray crystallography and other 'molecular' techniques.

  • Associate Professor, University of Warwick, 2023-Present
  • Assistant Professor, University of Warwick, 2018-present
  • Postdoctoral Researcher (Lab of Prof. Vassilis Koronakis), University of Cambridge, 2011-2017
  • Postdoctoral Researcher (Lab of Prof. Mark Banfield), John Innes Centre, 2009-2011
  • Postdoctoral Researcher (Lab of Prof. Nick Le Brun), University of East Anglia, 2006-2009
  • PhD, (Lab of Dr. Arthur Oubrie), University of East Anglia, 2003-2006