Professor Jeff Green

Professor of Microbiology

Tel: 0114 222 4403


Research Precis

fig1Bacteria exploit virtually every environmental niche on Earth. This success depends upon their ability to adapt to a range of stresses imposed by an ever-changing environment. Understanding how bacteria respond to environmental change by exploiting their biochemical versatility is one of the most important challenges in microbial science. Research in my laboratory is focused on how bacteria respond to stress. We are particularly interested in how bacteria (Escherichia coli; Salmonella enterica; Microbacterium tuberculosis) sense and respond to changes in oxygen availability, and to oxidative and nitrosative stresses. These studies have led to a particular interest in characterizing signal perception, DNA recognition, and interactions with RNA polymerase for several members of the CRP-FNR family of transcription factors. In addition, we are exploiting systems approaches to learn more about the dynamics of the transcriptome as bacteria transit from one condition to another. On-going programmes are focussed on the molecular mechanisms underpinning:

  • The systems biology of E. coli catabolism
  • The action of the direct oxygen-sensor FNR
  • Understanding microbial stress responses during industrial fermentation processes
  • The role of CRP and Wbl proteins in Mycobacterium tuberculosis pathogenesis

Research Keywords

Microbiology, biotechnology, catabolism, environmental signalling, oxygen sensing

I welcome applications from self-funded prospective home and international PhD students; see examples of possible projects below.

You can apply for a PhD position in MBB here.

Contact me at for further information.

Engineering E. coli as a cell factory for biotechnology The model bacterium Escherichia coli is metabolically versatile with ability to adapt to ever changing environmental conditions by reprogramming gene expression. These responses are essential for competitiveness in nature and for productivity when E. coli is used as a cell factory in biotechnological processes. One of our core interests is in understanding how E. coli responds to stresses related to oxygen availability and reactive oxygen species. Previous work has established mechanisms of oxygen sensing and how this is transduced into altered patterns of gene expression via interactions between transcription factors and RNA polymerase. We are interested in developing this research to better understand the stress responses of E. coli operating in a biotechnology setting and use this information to engineer more productive cell factories. To achieve this goal we will apply a range of ‘omic techniques and molecular genetics (synthetic biology) followed by phenotypic analyses to identify strains with desirable characterisitics.

Level 4 Modules

MBB401 Introduction to Research Methodology

Level 3 Modules

MBB323 Microbial Structure and Dynamics: Genes and Populations
MBB335 Bacterial Pathogenicity
MBB364 Microbiology Data Handling

Level 2 Modules

MBB263 Microbiology 2
MBB267 Genes, Genomes and Chromosomes

Career History

Career History

  • 2004 - present: Professor of Microbiology, University of Sheffield
  • 2000 - 2004: Reader in Microbiology, University of Sheffield
  • 1995 - 2000: BBSRC Advanced Fellow, University of Sheffield
  • 1989 - 1995: BBSRC PDRA, University of Sheffield
  • 1984 - 1989: SERC PDRA, University of Warwick
  • 1980 - 1983: SERC Research Assistant, University of Hull

Honours and Distinctions

  • 2015 - present: External examiner for Biotechnology and Microbiology degree programmes at the University of Manchester
  • 2014 - present: Director of the Crossing Biological Membranes BBSRC Network in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenenergy (
  • 2014 - present: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK Panel of Advisors
  • 2014 - present: Core member of BBSRC pool of experts (Committee B)
  • 2012 - present: Member of the Management Board of the White Rose-BBSRC DTP in Mechanistic Biology
  • 2005 - present: Member of the Editorial Board of Biotechnology Letters
  • 1995 - 2000: BBSRC Advanced Research Fellowship

Selected Publications

Journal articles