Bacterial lifestyles

Prof. Cynthia Whitchurch FAA

Prof. Cynthia Whitchurch

Research Leader

Bacterial lifestyles


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The main aim of our research is to explore the contribution of different bacterial lifestyles to the development of chronic infections and tolerance of antibiotics and biocides.

Our research will further our fundamental understanding of bacterial biology and lead to the development of novel approaches to prevent and treat bacterial infections.

We are particularly interested in understanding how bacterial communities build biofilms and produce shared resources such as extracellular DNA, moonlighting proteins and membrane vesicles. We are also interested in understanding how bacteria transition into and out of a cell wall deficient lifestyle in response to compounds that target the cell wall. These lifestyle transitions confer to the bacteria the ability to withstand antibiotics, biocides and the host immune system.

We have expertise in a range of techniques that we use to achieve our research aims, including molecular biology, mutant and drug library screens, infection models, biofilms, optical, super-resolution and scanning electron microscopy, live-cell imaging, histology and in situ hybridization.

Our Targets

Targeting antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial Resistance


Targeting food safety

Food Safety

Targeting the understanding of the microbiome

Understanding the Microbiome

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Food Spoilage

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