Professor Marco Oggioni

Picture Marco

Professor of Microbial Genetics

Department of Genetics, University of Leicester,
Adrian Building, Room 115, University Road,
Leicester, LE1 7RH

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2261



Personal details

I went to Medical School at the University of Siena (Italy) and later at the University of Verona (Italy) where I obtained my medical degree (1990). During these years I spent a period as guest investigator at the Rockefeller University, New York (USA). Back at the University of Siena I obtained a specialisation degree Microbiology and Virology (1994). My research work started in Siena with Professor Gianni Pozzi on biotechnological projects aimed at using non-pathogenic streptococci as life vaccine vectors.

From 1993 to 2013, I was employed at the University Hospital of Siena and had a series of teaching contracts at the University of Siena, including the course of Molecular Microbiology in the Master´s Programme in Medical Biotechnology taught in English. My two distinct research groups at the hospital and the university focused respectively on innovative molecular diagnostics and molecular mechanisms of drug resistance and on the other hand, on the molecular pathogenesis and genomics of the human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae.

In 2013, I joined the Department of Genetics of the University of Leicester where I was awarded with a Chair position in Microbial Genetics.


I have two main areas of interest:

Analysis of virulence mechanisms of Streptococcus pneumoniae, by use of genomic tools, study of microbial physiology, set up of novel in vitro models including biofilms and in vivo infection models. Main scope is the recognition of specific phases characterising microbial physiology during infection with the aim of identification of novel drug targets. In this context, I have focused my attention on carbon metabolism of the bacterium, both in vitro and within the host, with the idea that the 'behaviour' of the bacterium is largely influenced by their metabolism and that nutrient availability in different niches within the host govern important aspects in host pathogen interaction. Interaction with engineers and mathematicians expert in complex models has added interdisciplinary aspects to my research.

Development and validation of innovative tools and protocols for molecular diagnostics of microbial infections including molecular drug susceptibility testing. I have been involved for years in design of primer probe based diagnostic approaches, based initially on PCR and later on arrays and real time PCR. Part of this work included involvement in characterisation of molecular mechanisms of drug resistance, including work on mutations in mycobacteria, target substitutions in staphylococci, efflux pumps in pneumococci and staphylococci and the characterisation of mobile elements more in general. Most recently, I have investigated biocide resistance mechanism in staphylococci and microbial species of interest for the food chain, with the aim to elucidate possible impact of biocide use on antimicrobial drug resistance.

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Contact Details

Department of Genetics
University of Leicester

Adrian Building
University Road
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3374
E Mail:

Head of Department
Professor Alison Goodall

Student complaints procedure


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