skip to content

Department of Veterinary Medicine

Cambridge Veterinary School

Bacterial pathogens

My research interests lie in host-pathogen interactions and the molecular basis of virulence.  We use genomic and functional genomic approaches, combined with advanced molecular, proteomic and microscopy techniques, and often integrated with mathematical and statistical models, to determine the basis by which bacterial pathogens colonise their hosts and cause disease. We work on a number of different pathogens of clinical significance for humans and other animals, particular interests include foodborne zoonoses. Currently we are working with Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter coli, Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Our research is broad-ranging and multidisciplinary.

From determining

i) fundamental biochemical and physiological processes of bacteria (e.g. the genetic basis of bacterial cell shape),

ii) how bacteria survive in the environment,

iii) the roles of individual bacterial proteins in virulence,

iv) the within-host population dynamics of pathogens,

v) the host response to infection,

vi) transmission dynamics of bacteria between hosts and the environment,

vii) mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and

viii) the movement of AMR genes.

Through this research we aim to translate our findings into novel intervention strategies, including small-molecule therapeutics and immunotherapies including vaccination.


Key publications: 

Modelling within-host spatiotemporal dynamics of invasive bacterial disease. Grant AJ, Restif O, McKinley TJ, Sheppard M, Maskell DJ, and Mastroeni P.  (2008) PLoS Biol. 6, e74. 

Quantitative RNA-seq analysis of the Campylobacter jejuni transcriptome. Chaudhuri RR, Yu L, Kanji A, Perkins TT, Gardner PP, Choudhary J, Maskell DJ, Grant AJ (2011) Microbiol. 157, 2922-2932. 

Attenuated Salmonella Typhimurium lacking the pathogenicity island-2 type 3 secretion system grow to high bacterial numbers inside phagocytes in miceGrant AJ, Morgan FJE, McKinley TJ, Foster GL, Maskell DJ, Mastroeni P. (2012)  PLoS Pathog. 8(12): e1003070. 

Single Passage in mouse organs enhances the survival and spread of Salmonella enterica. Dybowski R, Restif O, Goupy A, Maskell DJ, Mastroeni P, Grant AJ. (2015) J. Roy. Soc. Inter. 12(113):20150702.

Genes required for the fitness of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium during infection of immunodeficicent gp91-/-phox mice. Grant AJ, Oshota O, Chaudhuri RR, Mayho M, Peters SE, Clare S, Maskell DJ, Mastroeni P. (2016) Infect. Immun. 84, 989-997. 

Senior Lecturer in Bacterial Pathogenesis
Takes PhD students
Available for consultancy


Person keywords: 
Drug discovery and vaccinology
Resistance and immunity and infection
Alborada Research Fund
Biosciences and Biotechnology Research Council
Horserace Betting Levy Board
Isaac Newton Trust
Medical Research Council
Wellcome Trust