... understanding life in molecular detail

Dr Alex ONeill

bacteriology, antibacterials, antibiotic resistance, drug discovery

Molecular mechanisms of resistance and tolerance to antibiotics in bacteria, and the biological characterization of novel antibacterial agents.

Current major projects include:
  • Understanding the molecular basis for antibiotic resistance
  • Discovery/ design of novel antibacterial agents
  • Biological characterization of novel/established antibacterial agents
  • Development of novel approaches to elucidate antibiotic mode of action

Antibiotics enable the treatment and cure of life-threatening bacterial infections, and represent one of the great successes of modern medicine. Unfortunately, the utility of these agents is being progressively eroded as bacteria evolve to resist their effects.

My laboratory seeks to better understand and address this problem through a combination of fundamental and applied research. Whilst our core expertise is molecular microbiology, we favour a multi-disciplinary approach that involves working closely with medicinal chemists, structural biologists and clinical scientists.

Research in the laboratory is funded by the Research Councils (MRC, BBSRC), and by industry (Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Helperby Therapeutics, Smith & Nephew, Syntopix).

Detailed research programme                  Close ▲

Lecturer (Leeds) 2011-present
BSc (Bristol) PhD (Leeds)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Leeds) 2001-2006
Independent Research Fellow (Leeds) 2006-2011

Garstang 8.52c
School of Molecular and Cellular Biology
0113 343 5600

Selected Publications

  1. Ooi N; Chopra I; Eady A; Cove J; Bojar R; O'Neill AJ Antibacterial activity and mode of action of tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) and its oxidation product, tert-butylbenzoquinone (TBBQ). J Antimicrob Chemother 68 1297-1304, 2013

  2. Randall CP; Oyama LB; Bostock JM; Chopra I; O'Neill AJ The silver cation (Ag+): antistaphylococcal activity, mode of action and resistance studies. J Antimicrob Chemother 68 131-138, 2013

  3. Cox G; Thompson GS; Jenkins HT; Peske F; Savelsbergh A; Rodnina MV; Wintermeyer W; Homans SW; Edwards TA; O'Neill AJ Ribosome clearance by FusB-type proteins mediates resistance to the antibiotic fusidic acid. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109 2102-2107, 2012

  4. Savage VJ; Chopra I; O'Neill AJ Staphylococcus aureus biofilms promote horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 57 1968-1970, 2013