I graduated from Leeds University with a BSc in Microbiology. I then moved to Cardiff University and obtained a PhD in microbial metabolism of xenobiotic compounds. After a short postdoctoral position in the Biochemistry department of Cardiff University I joined the Institute of Food Research, Norwich in 1989 and have worked on a number of industrially funded biotechnology projects on the engineering of lactic acid bacteria and yeast for production of novel food ingredients and antimicrobials.

Currently I am the translational microbiome group leader at the Institute where my research is focused on understanding the role of gut bacteria in health and disease of humans and animals.

My group has developed probiotic bacteria for reducing the levels of foodborne pathogens such as Campylobacter from the food chain. I have worked on the relationship between gut microbiota and specific gastrointestinal disorders; IBS and Ulcerative Colitis. In collaboration with clinicians at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital my group is actively involved in setting up a bacteriotherapy service for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infections, and are exploring how the exploitation of new technologies could be used to improve the diagnosis of gastrointestinal infections.

I have published more than 100 research papers and have filed 9 international patents. I have been appointed a Visiting Professor at Jiangnan University in China and have recently established a BBSRC funded UK-China joint centre for research on probiotics.


Key Publications

Pettersson S., Korecka A., Dona D., Lahiri S., Tett A., Al-Asmakh M., Braniste V., D’Arienzo R., Abbaspour A., Reichardt N., Fujii-Kuriyama Y., Rafter R., Narbad A., Holmes E., Nicholson J., Arulampalam V. (2016) Bidirectional communication between the gut microbiome and the Aryl-Hydrocarbon-Receptor (AhR) influences host energy homeostasis as well as microbiome composition in the small intestine, NPJ Biofilms and Microbiomes. 16014;

Dunne M., Mertens H. D. T., Garefalaki V., Jeffries C. M., Thompson A., Svergun D., Mayer M. J., Narbad A., Meijers R. (2014) The CD27L and CTP1L Endolysins Targeting Clostridia Contain a Built-in Trigger and Release Factor. PLOS Pathogens. 10: e1004228

Dertli E., Colquhoun I.J., Gunning A.P., Bongaerts R. J., Le Gall, G., Bonev B., Mayer M. J., Narbad A. (2013) Structure and biosynthesis of two exopolysaccharides produced by Lactobacillus johnsonii  FI9785. Journal of Biological Chemistry.  288:31938-51

Horn N., Wegmann U., Dertli E., Mulholland F., Collins S. R. A., Waldron K. W., Bongaerts R. J., Mayer M. J., Narbad A. (2013) Spontaneous mutation reveals influence of exopolysaccharide on Lactobacillus johnsonii surface characteristics PLOS ONE

Manes-Lazaro R., van Diemen P. M., Pin C., Mayer M. J., Stevens M. P., Narbad A.(2017) Administration of Lactobacillus johnsonii FI9785 to chickens affects colonisation by Campylobacter jejuni and the intestinal microbiota, British Poultry Science. In press

Erickson A. K., Jesudhasan P. R., Mayer M. J., Narbad A., Winter S. E., Pfeiffer J. K.. (2018)

Bacteria facilitate viral co-infection of mammalian cells and promote genetic recombination

Cell Host and Microbe, 23, 77-88


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Garcia Gutierrez E., Mayer M. J., Cotter P. D., Narbad A.. (2018)

Gut microbiota as a source of novel antimicrobials

Gut microbes


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Goldenberg S. D., Batra R., Beales I., Digby-Bell J. L., Irving P. M., Kellingray L., Narbad A., Franslem-Elumogo N.. (2018)

Comparison of Different Strategies for Providing Fecal Microbiota Transplantation to Treat Patients with Recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection in Two English Hospitals: A Review

Infectious Diseases and Therapy


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Gomez-Torres N., Dunne M., Garde S., Meijers R., Narbad A., Avila M., Mayer M. J.. (2018)

Development of a specific fluorescent phage endolysin for in situ detection of Clostridium species associated with cheese spoilage.

Microbial biotechnology, 11, 332-345


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Kellingray L., Le Gall G., Defernez M., Beales I. L., Franslem-Elumogo N., Narbad A.. (2018)

Microbial taxonomic and metabolic alterations during faecal microbiota transplantation to treat Clostridium difficile infection

Journal of Infection


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Diaz M., Wegmann U., Akinyemi N., Oguntoyinbo F., Sayavedra L., Mayer M. J., Narbad A.. (2018)

Complete Genome Sequence of Ochrobactrum haematophilum FI11154, Isolated from Kunu-Zaki, a Nigerian Millet-Based Fermented Food.

Genome announcements, 6


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Gherghisan-Filip C., Saalbach G., Hatziioanou D., Narbad A., Mayer M. J.. (2018)

Processing and Structure of the Lantibiotic Peptide Nso From the Human Gut Bacterium Blautia obeum A2-162 analysed by Mass Spectrometry.

Scientific reports, 8, 10077


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Current Vacancies

Applications Close: 26 November 2018

PhD Studentship: Breaking bad: Do high-fat diets trigger commensal sulphite reducing gut bacteria to damage gut health?

We are what we eat. The food we consume shapes our gut microbiota, which in turn plays a key...

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Applications Close: 26 November 2018

PhD Studentship: Novel microbiome based biomarkers of poultry gut health

The animal gastrointestinal tract contains trillions of microbes that play a critical role in their health and wellbeing. Poultry...

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Applications Close: 02 December 2018

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Scientist to join the Laboratory of Professor Arjan Narbad in the Gut...

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