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Dr Freya Harrison

Job Title
Life Sciences
024 765 24744
Web Link
Research Interests

I research how bacterial pathogens cause chronic, antibiotic-resistant infections, especially in the long-lived lung infections that affect people with the genetic disorder cystic fibrosis. I am also a founder member of the interdisciplinary AncientBiotics consortium, which seeks to identify, reconstruct and test infection remedies from medieval medical books in the hope of finding new agents to treat antibiotic-resistant infections. You can find out more about my team and our work on our research website.

My lab has developed a high-throughput
ex vivo lung model for studying chronic lung infections. We use pig lung tissue left over from the meat industry, along with growth medium carefully constructed to mimic the chemistry of lung mucus in specific infection contexts. Our model has high clinical validity for the study of chronic bacterial pathogens in cystic fibrosis, and may be flexibly optimised to mimic other conditions. It also has the advantages of being cheap and ethical. We are keen to share it with colleagues from academia and industry who are working to understand and treat chronic lung infections. We also hope that adoption of this model will help to reduce the use of live animals in infection research by providing a 3Rs-compliant alternative.


2004 - 2007 DPhil, Dept. of Zoology, University of Oxford.

2000 - 2003 BA(Hons) Biological Sciences, University of Oxford

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Member of the Microbiology Society

Member of the Society's Communications Committee from January 2017.

Title Funder Award start Award end
An evidence-based preclinical framework for the development of antimicrobial therapeutics in cystic fibrosis (PIPE-CF) Cystic Fibrosis Trust 01 Oct 2021 31 May 2025
Datamining medieval medical texts for modern medicines (FLF Erin Connelly) UK Research and Innovation 07 Sep 2020 06 Sep 2024
CoA: Building and dismantling polymicrobial pathogen communities in cystic fibrosis; linked to Ideate 53711 UK Research and Innovation 01 Oct 2020 30 Sep 2021
Nettles and Networks: New ways to tackle wound infections APEX appliction Nottingham led Royal Society 01 Nov 2018 31 Oct 2020
Building and dismantling polymicrobial pathogen communities in cystic fibrosis. MRC 01 Oct 2017 30 Sep 2020
BIOfilm Fluorescent ANtibioTics AsSaY - BIOFANTASY. NCBI project BBSRC 01 Jan 2019 30 Jun 2019
Harry Smith Vacation Studentship for Navneet Jandu Microbiology Society 03 Jul 2017 02 Sep 2017