Prof Ian Roberts BSc, PhD

Professor of Microbiology

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Interactions between pathogens and the host. Research in my laboratory is focused on the interactions between bacteria and their human hosts. Pathogenic bacteria are responsible for a number of life threatening infections of man and have devised strategies to overcome the host host’s defences. Specifically, they produce “virulence factors” that manipulate and re-program the ability of the host to combat the infection and it is the success or failure of this battle that will decide the outcome of the infection. In addition to looking at specific interactions between the pathogen and the host we are also looking at global changes that occur in the host as a consequence of the infection. In particular, we are looking at the microflora of the human gut and studying how infection both acute and chronic may alter the human gut flora and what are the consequences to the health of the host. We are studying two bacterial pathogens Escherichia coli responsible for urinary tract infections and Listeria monocytogenes a serious food borne pathogen. In addition, we are studying the effects of infection by the parasitic worm Trichuris muris on the host gut microflora.


Professor Ian Roberts - Molecular Microbiology Research Group, Faculty of Life Sciences. 1981-BSc. Biological Sciences University of Leicester, 1984-PhD (Genetics) University of Birmingham. In 1986 I was appointed to a Lecturship in the Department of MIcrobiology at the University of Leicester and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1993. In 1995 I was awarded a fellowship from the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine and was appointed to the Chair in Microbiology at Manchester in the same year. During my time at Manchester I have been a Divisonal Head, Research Dean (2001-2005 and 2012-2016) and I am now currently a member of the Lydia Becker Institute of Immunology and Inflammation. I  served on the BBSRC Student ships and Fellowships Panel (2002-2013) being Chair between (2009-2013) as well as serving on a number of national and international funding committees. I am an Editor of Future Microbiology. In 1994 I was awarded both the Fleming Lectureship. and the Pierce Award. The Fleming Lectureship is made annually by the Society for General Microbiology in recognition of outstanding research by a microbiologist (under 35 years of age) within the UK. While the W. H. Pierce award is made annually by the Society for Applied Bacteriology in recognition of outstanding research in the field of bacteriology. I am currently the Honorary Tresurer of the Microbiology Society (2018-2021).

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