Maurice Gallagher


1979    BSc (Hons) Biochemistry and Pharmacology

1985    Ph.D. Strathclyde University

1985-1987    MRC postdoctoral research assistant, University of Dundee

1987-1989    CRC postdoctoral research assistant, University of Dundee

1989    Joined Edinburgh University

1998    Senior Lecturer

Undergraduate teaching

Course Organiser for Molecular Microbiology 3 and honours year vaccines elective.

Also teaching on SFP 3 and Biotechnology 3 and 4.

QA & QE officer for the School of Biological Sciences.

Research summary

Our lab is focused around addressing issues of bacteriology and biotechnology. We use a wide range of approaches, including genetics, molecular (and synthetic) biology, microbial physiology, gene expression profiling (e.g. microarrays), gene cloning and disruption, low and high throughput sequencing (e.g. Solexa), protein expression and purification, proteomics, interactome analysis, and immunomics. However, our guiding principle is not based on using a range of technological approaches but rather, to define the key questions and issues that we wish to address, and then approach this in the most appropriate scientific manner.

Much of our current work is collaborative and has potential intellectual property value so is not published. However, our lab is focused mainly on studying bacterial pathogens, particularly those associated with food borne infection (e.g. Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridia) and medical implant infections (e.g. Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, Enterobacter, Klebsiella). Key themes include:

  • Developing live and peptide based vaccines
  • Characterising bacterial stress and response mechanisms for understanding and elimination of bacterial pathogens (e.g. cold shock and peroxide stress components and their roles, biofilm formation, unravelling mechanisms of antibiotic tolerant persistence)
  • Development of novel systems for quantitative biofilm analysis, for measuring bacterial survival and antibiotic effectiveness
  • Developing novel bacterial imaging and elimination systems for medical use (e.g. for ultrasound imaging)
  • Use of polymer microarrays to identify compounds which strongly bind or repel bacterial binding to surfaces (e.g for use as surface coatings on medical devices or for sequestering/ detecting pathogens).

We also have a long history of studying bacterial solute transport systems per se and as models for diseases such as cystic fibrosis and multi-drug resistance in cancer cells.