2009-Present, Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology, University of Strathclyde
2005-2009, Post-doctoral fellow, John Innes Centre, Norwich
2002-2005 PhD. Molecular microbiology, University of East Anglia
1999-2000 MSc. Human Molecular Genetics, Imperial College, London.
1996-99 BSc. (Hons.) Biochemistry, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
The unifying theme across my research is bacterial gene regulation. Bacteria must be able to efficiently respond to changes in their environment by altering the expression of specific genes. This is most commonly achieved at the transcriptional level by proteins that either activate or repress the activity of RNA-polymerase.
1. Gene regulation and signaling by bacterial enhancer binding proteins
2. Nitric oxide sensing and metalloproteins (Rrf2 family)
3. Pseudomonas aeruginosa pathogenicity
4. E. coli and Streptomyces coelicolor nitrogen metabolism
Nitric oxide is a toxic radical gas that is produced by macrophage cells as a broad range antibiotic. Bacterial pathogens have evolved a number of systems for detoxifying nitric oxide such as flavorubredoxin and flavohemoglobin in E. coli . The expression of the genes encoding these proteins is nitric oxide dependent and is controlled by the transcriptional regulators NorR and NsrR respectively. Both proteins sense nitric oxide via metal centres that control their ability to activate or repress gene expression.
- BBSRC (Biotech & Biological Sciences Research Council) (External organisation)
- Comparative genomics of Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- SULSA Symposium 2013
- Member of programme committee
- Pseudomonas 2013
- Antonie van Leeuwenhoek: International Journal of General and Molecular Microbiology (Journal)
- Editorial board member
- Advances in Biology (Journal)
- Editorial board member
more professional activities
- Accelerating clinical introduction of novel antibacterial drugs
- Tucker, Nicholas (Principal Investigator) Burley, Glenn (Co-investigator) Scott, Fraser (Co-investigator)
- Period 01-Nov-2016 - 31-Oct-2017
- BBSRC Doctoral Training Grant (DTG) | Bellota-Anton, Cesar
- Tucker, Nicholas (Principal Investigator) Hunt, Neil (Co-investigator) Bellota-Anton, Cesar (Research Co-investigator)
- Period 01-Dec-2011 - 01-Dec-2014
- Lung infection monitor for chronic disease patients
- Connolly, Patricia (Principal Investigator) Tucker, Nicholas (Co-investigator)
- Period 01-Nov-2015 - 31-Oct-2018
- Comparative transcriptomic and metabolomic analysis of engineered bacteria
- Tucker, Nicholas (Principal Investigator) Edrada-Ebel, Ruangelie (Co-investigator)
- Analysis of industrial biotech strains produced by Ingenza
- Period 18-Nov-2014 - 18-Nov-2015
- Ultrafast Laser Facility for Advanced Spectroscopy Applications
- McKee, David (Principal Investigator) Ackemann, Thorsten (Co-investigator) Fedorov, Maxim (Co-investigator) Hoskisson, Paul (Co-investigator) Hunt, Neil (Co-investigator) Tucker, Nicholas (Co-investigator)
- Equipment sharing grant, £36,0000
- Period 01-Jan-2012 - 30-Jun-2012
- The differing biological fates of DNA minor groove-binding (MGB) antibiotics in Gram-negative and Gram-Positive bacteria.
- Tucker, Nicholas (Principal Investigator) Hunter, Iain (Co-investigator) Suckling, Colin (Co-investigator)
- "Antibiotics have been at the forefront of our fight against infectious disease since the 1940's. Since that time our reliance on antibiotics has been exposed by the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria such as methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Unfortunately, MRSA is not alone in its ability to resist the effects of antibiotics; other organisms such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa also have this ability. The World Health Organization considers solving the antibiotic resistance problem to be of global importance. One way of solving this problem is through the academic innovation of new antibiotic drugs to fight infectious disease.
We have been studying a group of compounds called MGBs that have very high activity against MRSA. Very little is known about the biological basis for this activity and we will determine the mode of action of these new drugs. We hypothesise that MGBs interfere with the ability of MRSA to control the use of its genes during infection. We will identify which genes are most potently inhibited by our new antibiotics providing us with a detailed set of targets. This information will be used in two ways. Firstly, knowledge of the targets of our drugs will help us to design new compounds that favour particular genes. Secondly, knowledge of the mode of action of a drug is important for gaining approval to use the drug in clinical trials and ultimately, the clinic.
Our previous research suggests that MGBs exhibit much better activity against organisms such as MRSA compared to Pseudomonas and E. coli. We hypothesise that this is because the latter two organisms are capable of expelling the MGBs from their cells using a system of pumps in the membrane. We will use cutting edge DNA sequencing technology to identify the resistance mechanisms of these bacteria and use this information to design new and better antibiotic MGBs to treat these infections in the future."
- Period 17-Feb-2014 - 16-Feb-2018
Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
Hamnett Wing John Arbuthnott Building
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