University of Dundee

Molecular Microbiology

  • Image of cells

The Division of Molecular Microbiology encompasses a spectrum of research that flows from fundamental science using model organisms to translational research on medically- and economically-significant species. The overarching purpose of the Division is to further the science of Molecular Microbiology through excellent, innovative and internationally-recognised research on a broad platform of topics. These topics currently include: molecular determinants of bacterial virulence; host responses to microbial pathogens; fundamental physiological processes in microbial cells, including transport and generation of the cell surface; inter-bacterial interactions; and identification of potential targets for antimicrobial intervention or biotechnological applications.

The Division aims to achieve national and international recognition for both its research and educational contributions, through the effective creation and dissemination of knowledge in Microbiology. It aims to promote and benefit from synergistic collaboration with academic colleagues in allied disciplines, including cell immunology, structural biology, gene regulation, mathematics and drug discovery. Its research mission also provides enhanced opportunities and challenges for vibrant teaching in Science and supports the application of scientific principles to the disciplines of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Microbiology. 

The Division is committed to the recruitment of the best students, postdoctoral scientists, and academic staff to the discipline of Molecular Microbiology, to encourage diversity in the study of Microbiology, and to fostering an intellectually stimulating and friendly environment for research and teaching. The education, nurturing and mentoring of individuals at all levels, from undergraduates to newly recruited Principal Investigators, is considered a top priority and is designed to empower researchers to recognise, investigate, resolve and manage the innumerable microbiological challenges affecting health, industry and the environment.

Public Engagement by Molecular Microbiology

The Division actively participates in its own and School-wide schemes utilising our extensive research expertise and facilities to enhance research training and to disseminate microbiological research findings to the public. Past projects include:

Principal Investigators

Professor Sarah Coulthurst
Professor of Microbial Interactions and Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow. Deputy Head of Division of Molecular Microbiology
Microbial competition and bacterial protein secretion systems
Dr Helge Dorfmueller
Royal Society and Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellow
Investigation of streptococcal cell wall biogenesis and glycoconjugate vaccine development
Professor Nicola Stanley-Wall FRSE FRSB FEAM
Professor of Microbiology and Head of the Division of Molecular Microbiology
Understanding the molecular mechanism of biofilm formation
Dr. Megan Bergkessel
UKRI Future Leaders Fellow
Regulatory mechanisms operating during bacterial growth arrest and persistence


Reader (Biophysical Chemistry) and Academic Lead for International College Dundee (ICD)
Professor Geoff Gadd FRSB FLS FLSW FRSE
Boyd Baxter Chair of Biology
Geomicrobiology, Geomycology and Bioremediation


Professor Geoffrey Codd MBE FRSE
Emeritus Professor of Microbiology
Cyanotoxins and microbial metabolites