About the Group:
Research in the Waterfield group is relatively broad, from the use of insect infection models, fundamental microbiology, bioinformatics, functional genomics, natural and synthetic product antibiotics and more recently bio(nano)technology. Of particular interest to the group are bacterial pathogens belonging to the genera Photorhabdus and Bacillus. More specifically we are interested in how insect associated members of these genera have been able to jump species barriers to infect humans. These include studies into the evolution of the emerging human pathogen Photorhabdus asymbiotica (a bioluminescent disease!) and the deadly and feared Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. Understanding the molecular adaptations these pathogens have acquired to achieve human pathogen status is relevant to bacterial evolution studies and also informs us as to common immune pathways of insects and humans.
Current and ex-members of the Waterfield lab (its hard to keep it totally current!)
Understanding and exploiting natural molecular syringes (Leverhulme Trust and BBSRC).
Compatibility or conflict between mammalian and insect virulence regulons in the evolution of Bacillus Cereus G9241, the causative agent of an anthrax like illness (DSTL/MoD).
Understanding and exploiting novel Metallohelices that kill bacterial pathogens (collaboration).
Discovering and understanding the modes of action of Photorhabdus derived natural products
Understanding the evolution of the novel emerging human pathogen Photorhabdus asymbiotica.
Characterising the Toxin Complex of Photorhabdus and other pathogens.
Associate Professor in Bacterial Pathogenesis