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Waterfield Lab

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.


For specifics of ongoing group research, see the research theme pages above for corresponding project(s).



Research Projects

Understanding and exploiting natural molecular syringes Funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Project Start Date: 05/10/2015 Project End Date: 2019

Compatibility or conflict between mammalian and insect virulence regulons in the evolution of Bacillus Cereus G9241, the causative agent of an anthrax like illness. Funded by DSTL. Project Start Date: 12/01/2015 Project End Date: 11/06/2018

Bridging the Gaps between the Engineering and Physical Sciences and Antimicrobial Resistance. Funded by EPSRC. Project Start Date: 01/07/2014 Project End Date: 30/06/2016


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Lab Members


Dr Nick Waterfield

Associate Professor in Bacterial Pathogenesis


Dr Alexia Hapeshi

Research Fellow in Invertebrate/ Human Bacterial Pathogenomics


Joe Healey

PhD student


Tom Brooker

PhD student