Professor of Molecular Bacteriology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences
Professor Leigh has been investigating streptococci of significance to diseases of livestock species since 1987. This work, originally conducted at IAH-Compton was relocated to University of Oxford in 2005 before finally arriving at the newly formed School of Veterinary Medicine & Science at the University of Nottingham in 2007. Professor Leigh's research interests range from investigation of bacterial epidemiology and the development / translation of molecular techniques for bacterial typing to investigation of host pathogen interactions involved in bacterial pathogenesis and studies on protein structure in relation to function. Professor Leigh's research has been strategically focused at the control of disease and has attracted considerable commercial collaboration.
Professor Leigh is responsible for the initiation, management and exploitation of research on the molecular basis of infectious disease and host pathogen interaction and pathogen persistence.
Professor Leigh's current research activity is focused on functional genomics of bacteria in relation to infectious disease. This is particularly aimed at diseases caused by Streptococci. With… read more
Professor Leigh's current research activity is focused on functional genomics of bacteria in relation to infectious disease. This is particularly aimed at diseases caused by Streptococci. With strategic aims of identification of coding and non-coding sequences associated with disease, their functional role in vivo and the consequence of sequence variation in the bacterial population. To aid with the initial stages (gene identification) his research group have developed a simple and rapid genome wide mutation mapping system (PIMMS) that produces similar outputs to Tradis and Tnseq. The output is of value to the pharmaceutical industry in the identification of sub-units for vaccines, targets for new therapies, gene targets for rational attenuation. For academia, it identifies networks of genes (products) for further definition of their role and mechanistic analysis in vitro. He currently holds patents on the exploitation of gene products as vaccines against streptococcal infection and is actively pursuing the development of such products in association with the pharmaceutical industry.
Professor Leigh has an active interest in the epidemiology of bacterial infection and in particular the role of asymptomatic carriage in maintenance and dynamic genetic variation of pathogen populations.