... understanding life in molecular detail

Dr Alex ONeill

bacteriology, antibacterials, antibiotic resistance, drug discovery

Molecular mechanisms of resistance to antibiotics in bacterial pathogens, and the discovery and characterization of novel antibacterial agents

Current major projects include:
  • Understanding the molecular detail of antibiotic resistance
  • Discovery of novel antibacterial agents
  • Development of new approaches to aid antibiotic discovery

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 ▲

Associate Professor (2014-present)
BSc (Bristol) PhD (Leeds)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Leeds) 2001-2006
Independent Research Fellow (Leeds) 2006-2011
Lecturer (Leeds) 2011-2014

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

Selected Publications

  1. Nass NM, Farooque S, Hind C, Wand ME, Randall CP, Sutton JM, Seipke RF, Rayner CM, O Neill AJ. Revisiting unexploited antibiotics in search of new antibacterial drug candidates: The case of γ-actinorhodin. Scientific Reports 7 -, 2017 DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-17232-1

  2. Sharkey LKR, Edwards TA, O Neill AJ. ABC-F proteins mediate antibiotic resistance through ribosomal protection. mBio 7 -, 2016 DOI:10.1128/mBio.01975-15

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

  4. 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