Dr Andrew Bell


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Glycobiology of host-microbe interactions in the gut

My current project focuses on the impact of bacterial sialic acid metabolism on gut homeostasis. In particular I am interested in how a novel bacterial mechanism of utilising mucin-derived sialic acid may provide a competitive advantage to bacteria expressing an intramolecular trans-sialidases, and help to protect the gut from pathogens. This work builds on the findings of my PhD project ‘Sialic acid metabolism in gut microbes’ which I also undertook at the Quadram Institute with Prof. Nathalie Juge.

Previous to my time at QIB I studied Biochemistry at the University of East Anglia, and as part of the degree programme undertook a year in Industry placement in Prof. Claire Domoney’s lab at the John Innes Centre where I was involved in a project to increase understanding of chlorophyll degradation and turnover pathways in plants. I continued with the same research theme following my undergraduate and discovered that the SGRL protein can regulate chlorophyll metabolism contributing to plant growth and development in pea.

Baker DJ,Aydin A,Le Viet T,Kay GL,Rudder S,de Oliveira Martins L,Tedim AP,Kolyva A,Diaz M,Alikhan NF,Meadows L,Bell A,Gutierrez AV,Trotter AJ,Thomson NM,Gilroy R,Griffith L,Adriaenssens EM,Stanley R,Charles IG,Elumogo N,Wain J,Prakash R,Meader E,Mather AE,Webber M,Dervisevic S,Page AJ,O J. (2021)

CoronaHiT: high-throughput sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 genomes.

Genome medicine

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Bell A,Severi E,Lee MO,Monaco S,Latousakis D,Angulo J,Thomas GH,Naismith J,Juge N. (2020)

Uncovering a novel molecular mechanism for scavenging sialic acids in bacteria.

The Journal of biological chemistry

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Bell A., Brunt J., Crost E., Vaux L., Nepravishta R., Owen C. D., Latousakis D., Xiao A., Li W., Chen X., Walsh M. A., Claesen J., Angulo J., Thomas G. H., Juge N.. (2019)

Elucidation of a sialic acid metabolism pathway in mucus-foraging Ruminococcus gnavus unravels mechanisms of bacterial adaptation to the gut.

Nature microbiology, 4, 2393-2404

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Monestier M., Latousakis D., Bell A., Tribolo S., Tailford L. E., Colquhoun I. J., Le Gall G., Yu H., Chen X., Rejzek M., Dedola S., Field R. A., Juge N.. (2017)

Membrane-enclosed multienzyme (MEME) synthesis of 2,7-anhydro-sialic acid derivatives.

Carbohydrate Research, 451, 110-117

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Owen C. D., Tailford L. E., Monaco S., Suligoj T., Vaux L., Khedri Z., Yu H., Lecointe K., Walshaw J., Tribolo S., Horrex M., Bell A., Chen X., Taylor G. L., Varki A., Angulo J., Juge N.. (2017)

Unravelling the specificity and mechanism of sialic acid recognition by the gut symbiont Ruminococcus gnavus.

Nature communications, 8, 2196

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