Centre for Biomolecular Sciences
   
   
  
 

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Steve Atkinson

Lecturer in Molecular and Cellular Bacteriology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

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Biography

Having completed my degree in biology I left science for several years and ran my own business. However my love for biology brought me back into science and after studying for an M.Sc in Molecular Genetics at The University of Leicester I went on to study for a PhD in Molecular Microbiology. Having worked in several post doctoral research positions I am now a lecturer in Molecular and Cellular Bacteriology here in Nottingham.

Expertise Summary

My technical expertise is based around molecular biology and includes gene cloning, site directed mutagenesis, transposon mutagenesis, cosmid and plasmid library construction, gene expression, PCR, RT PCR, DNA and protein sequencing and analysis, Southern and western blotting, protein purification, SDS-PAGE, tissue culture, TLC, HPLC, mass spectrometry, light and fluorescence microscopy including confocal, as well as TEM and SEM. I also have considerable experience analysing DNA and protein sequences using common software packages and I am very proficient in the use of the genome sequence and genome comparison tools, Artemis and ACT (Sanger centre).

Teaching Summary

Aside from my lecturing duties I am the program lead for the M.Sc in Molecular Genetics and Diagnostics and also convenor for the Microbial Genetics and Genomics and Molecular Basis to Genetic… read more

Research Summary

For a number of years we have been examining the molecular mechanisms which underpin virulence in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and during this time we have shown that many key virulence descriptors… read more

Recent Publications

Aside from my lecturing duties I am the program lead for the M.Sc in Molecular Genetics and Diagnostics and also convenor for the Microbial Genetics and Genomics and Molecular Basis to Genetic Disorders modules as well as module convener for the ResearchProjects module for four molecular biology related MSc courses. I also supervise undergraduate and post graduate project students and act as personal tutor to undergraduate medical students and post graduate M.Sc students.

Current Research

For a number of years we have been examining the molecular mechanisms which underpin virulence in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and during this time we have shown that many key virulence descriptors such as biofilm formation, motility, adhesion, and the presence of the virulence plasmid are interrelated. We have also revealed that genetically disrupting these virulence markers can reduce pathogenicity and in particular have focussed on Y. pseudotuberculosis infection of the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans in an in vivo infection model for bacterial colonisation of eukaryotic tissues.

More recently our work has also focussed on Yersinia pestis, the cause of plague. Working in our fully refurbished designated containment level three laboratory we are examining the same mechanisms in the pathogen that historically has been responsible for more human deaths than any other organism.

We know that by disrupting these mechanisms the virulence of all three pathogenic Yersinia spp. can be attenuated or abolished. In the clinic, infections caused by pathogens which are resistance to multiple antibiotics are commonplace and therefore new non-antibiotic therapies to novel targets are required as a matter of urgency. These systems therefore represent just such a target.

Centre for Biomolecular Sciences

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 846 8001
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 8002
email: CBS Enquiries