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Using synthetic microbiology to screen for novel antibacterial compounds.

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Personal profile


Roger completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Maine (USA) and subsequently joined the research group of Michael D. Manson within the Department of Biology at Texas A&M University (USA). He completed his PhD in Microbiology in 2007 after studying the role of membrane-protein interaction in modulation of signalling by bacterial chemoreceptors. This served as the first example of tuning the baseline signal output of a membrane-spanning receptor in a predictable and incremental manner and became known as "aromatic tuning" within the field of bacterial chemotaxis.

In July 2007, Roger joined the group of Prof Gunnar von Heijne, Director of the Center for Biomembrane Research at Stockholm University (Sweden). Here, with postdoctoral funding from the National Institutes of Health (USA) he demonstrated that aromatic tuning could be employed to "trigger" bacterial signalling pathways in the absence of stimulus perception.

Roger was invited to join the Institute of Biochemistry (Biozentrum) at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main (Germany) in April 2010. During this time, he established several key principles for engineering synthetic bacterial signalling pathways. In 2013, Roger extended these studies as a Lecturer within Division of Pharmacy at Durham University.

In 2015, Roger joined the University of Portsmouth with the explicit aim of applying his knowledge of synthetic bacterial signalling pathways in order to develop a next-generation biological platform for high-throughput detection of compounds with novel antimicrobial activity.

In his spare time, Roger enjoys cycling, backpacking and mushroom hunting.

Research Interests

Employing synthetic microbiology, biochemistry and biophysics our research group pursues two narrative lines:

  1. Employing aromatic tuning to modulate signal output from two-component signalling circuits in a stimulus-independent manner.
  2. Molecular characterisation of the EnvZ-MzrA porin-regulatory complexes (PRCs)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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