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 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 Quadram Institute Bioscience where my research is focused on understanding the role of gut bacteria in health and disease of humans and animals.

Current focus of our research is on the competitive exclusion of foodborne pathogens such as Campylobacter and C. perfringens from the food chain.  In collaboration with clinicians at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital my group is actively involved in setting up Faecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) service for the treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile infections. We are also exploring the role of gut microbiome in colonisation and persistence of the SARS COV-2 in the GI tract of COVID-19 patients.

I have published more than 160 research papers and have filed 11 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

Mayer MJ, D’Amato A, Colquhoun IJ, Le Gall G, Narbad A. (2020) Identification of Genes Required for Glucan Exopolysaccharide Production in Lactobacillus johnsonii Suggests a Novel Biosynthesis Mechanism.  Applied and Environmental  Microbiology. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02808-19

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 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2017.11.007

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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jinf.2018.04.012

Parmanand BA, Kellingray L, Le Gall G, Basit AW, Fairweather-Tait S, Narbad A. (2019) A decrease in iron reduces the growth of pathogenic gut bacteria; an in vitro colonic fermentation study. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 67:20-27

Narbad A and Rossiter J (2018). Gut glucosinolate metabolism and isothiocyanate production. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201700991

Romano S,Savva GM,Bedarf JR,Charles IG,Hildebrand F,Narbad A. (2021)

Meta-analysis of the Parkinson’s disease gut microbiome suggests alterations linked to intestinal inflammation.

NPJ Parkinson's disease

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Jiang J,Wu C,Zhang C,Zhang Q,Yu L,Zhao J,Zhang H,Narbad A,Chen W,Zhai Q. (2021)

Strain-Specific Effects of Bifidobacterium longum on Hypercholesterolemic Rats and Potential Mechanisms.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22, 1-17

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Sayavedra L,Li T,Bueno Batista M,Seah BKB,Booth C,Zhai Q,Chen W,Narbad A. (2021)

Desulfovibrio diazotrophica sp. nov., a sulphate reducing bacterium from the human gut capable of nitrogen fixation.

Environmental microbiology

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Diez-Echave P,Martín-Cabrejas I,Garrido-Mesa J,Langa S,Vezza T,Landete JM,Hidalgo-García L,Algieri F,Mayer MJ,Narbad A,García-Lafuente A,Medina M,Rodríguez-Nogales A,Rodríguez-Cabezas ME,Gálvez J,Arqués JL. (2021)

Probiotic and Functional Properties of Limosilactobacillus reuteri INIA P572.


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Hutchins C, Sayavedra L, Diaz M, Gupta P, Tissingh E, Elumogo C, Nolan J, Charles I, Elumogo N, Narbad . (2021)

Genomic analysis of a rare recurrent Listeria monocytogenes prosthetic joint infection indicates a protected niche within biofilm on prosthetic materials

Scientific Reports, 11(1), 21864

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Diaz M, Atter A, Tano-Debrah K, Parry-Hanson Kunadu A, Mayer MJ, Colquhoun IJ, Nielson D, Baker D, Narbad A, Amoa-Awua . (2021)

Microbial diversity and metabolite profile of fermenting millet in the production of Hausa koko, a Ghanaian fermented cereal porridge

Frontiers in Microbiology, 12, 681983

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