Microbial Science Research at the University of Leicester
Contrary to common perception and their ancient origin, microbes represent the most highly evolved living creatures on earth. As Steven Jay Gould pointed out, this has been and always will be the age of the microbe. Studies on how microbes function have opened up fundamental insights into how living systems operate and continue to do so.
Of course our major concerns are how microbes impinge on humans by causing disease, degrading our products, participating in geochemical processes and get deployed in our industries. Infectious diseases present a huge economic burden in Europe and, worldwide, kill millions every year. The short generation time and capacity for recombination of microbes, which has underpinned their exceptional evolutionary sophistication, highlights the challenge they pose in adapting to resist our treatments and their continual modifications which can lead to new diseases.
Leicester has a strong tradition in microbial sciences; ground-breaking work in biological classification was undertaken by our foundation professor, Peter Sneath FRS, and the 1980s saw a burgeoning of molecular microbiology, particularly focussed on pathogenesis. The Microbial Sciences Theme includes academics whose primary focus is on microbes or on infection and continues to encompass both fundamental and applied studies. We have recently gathered further strength through a convergence of our activities into sub-themes. There has been a significant uplift in translational work including vaccine, treatment and diagnostic developments. We have taken the view that descriptions of our activities only have value inasmuch as they enhance collaboration and increase the opportunities for success in gaining funds.
For further information, please contact: Dr Julie Morrissey, Theme Leader, Department of Genetics, Tel: 0116 252 2272, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org