Colleges, School and Institutes
Willingness to take PhD students
Chris Thomas is an internationally recognised authority on bacterial plasmid and mobile DNA and within the University has championed biotechnology. His current research focuses on:
Bacterial plasmids: Bacterial plasmids are important because of their role in spreading genes horizontally within bacterial populations and as tools for genetic manipulation. Professor Thomas's group has carried out detailed investigations of the genes which control DNA replication, plasmid segregation and conjugative transfer between dividing cells, including how they are regulated, with a view to help displace them in clinical and veterinary contexts but improve their properties as vectors.
Polyketide antibiotic biosynthesis: New antibiotics are required for use in medicine. The group is studying biosynthesis of mupirocin inPseudomonas fluorescenswith a view to generating new forms of this polyketide antibiotic that can be used against the superbug MRSA. It is also studying the biosynthesis of the related antibiotic thiomarinol in marine bacteria in order to understand how the additional elements of this antibiotic are made and how they increase the potency of the antibiotic compared to mupirocin.