Dr Jonathan Shaw BSc PhDJon Shaw

Reader in Microbiology
Departmental Director of Learning & Teaching

Department of Infection, Immunity & Cardiovascular Disease
University of Sheffield
Medical School
Beech Hill Road
S10 2RX
United Kingdom

Office: LU103

Tel: +44 (0) 114 215 9553
Email: j.g.shaw@sheffield.ac.uk


I am a Reader in Microbiology in the Department of Infection and Immunity. After finishing my PhD in 1991, I undertook two short post-doctoral positions in Sheffield and Canada before joining the Medical School in 1993 as an Independent Research Fellow.

Research Interests:

The major direction behind the research in my laboratory is the understanding of bacterial pathogenesis at a molecular and mechanistic level, in relation to colonisation factors, secreted products and physiology.

Teaching Interests:

I am heavily involved in the M.Sc. in Molecular Medicine and I also teach on the Medicine, Dental and Orthoptics courses.

Professional Activities:

I was previously on the editorial board of the journal Microbiology for eight years. I am currently an associate editor for MicrobiologyOpen and the journal Virulence.

Current Projects:

Use of Aeromonas species as model systems for bacterial colonisation, environmental adaptation and protein glycosylation

Aeromonas spp. are an increasingly important cause of gastro-enteritis, with A. caviae being important in the causation of paediatric diarrhoea. However, there is little known about the pathogenicity determinants of this organism. Some strains of Aeromonas express two distinct flagella systems, a polar flagellum for swimming in liquid environments and many lateral flagella for swarming over surfaces, both are involved in colonisation. Possession of two types of flagella provides a natural reporter system for investigating how bacteria sense surfaces, or for dissecting the bacterial sense of touch. We are also interested in the genetic cross-talk between the flagellar systems and the type 3 secretion systems (T3SS).

Aeromonas glycosylates its flagellum with the sugar pseudaminic acid, this is essential for flagellar filament assembly and motility. This sugar is also found on the flagellin proteins of Campylobacter jejuni and Helicobacter pylori. We are elucidating the flagellar glycosylation process at the molecular level. We are interested in developing sugar analogues to inhibit the glycosylation process that could possibly be used as a novel form of anti-microbial therapy. These projects are in collaboration with Graham Stafford of the Dental School, Simon Jones in Chemistry and the Universities of Barcelona and Tasmania.

Studies into the pathogenesis and physiology of Neisseria meningitidis

Neisseria meningitidis is a major cause of bacterial meningitis. Although quite a lot is known about the organism's virulence factors, there is very little information available about the organism's carbon metabolism. We are investigating the growth and metabolic characteristics of N. meningitidis through the use of 13C-NMR and enzyme assays, with the emphasis on growth on lactate. This will enable us to find out what metabolic pathways the organism uses in CSF (in vivo) and find out if any unique enzymes are present which can be rationally targeted for antimicrobial therapy. The role of these pathways in the organisms pathogenesis are also being considered. We are also investigating the role of the global regulator Lrp (leucine responsive regulatory protein) and the stringent response of N. meningitidis in pathogenesis. These projects are in collaboration with Christoph Tang and Rachel Exley at Oxford University.

Interactions of Burkholderia with eukaryotic cells

In collaboration with Dr M Thomas (Sheffield) we are using genetic means such as IVET and mutagenesis to investigate the mechanism of how Burkholderia interacts with host cells via its type VI secretion system.


For key publications see below.  For a full list of publications click here.

Journal articles