Mr Matthew McKracken

Mr Matthew McKracken

School of Biomedical Sciences (Faculty of Health)



I am a current PhD student researching how antimicrobial biocides affect Clostridioides difficile spores in order to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of spore resistance in healthcare environments. My present appointment is a Research Assistant in Anaerobic Microbiology, looking at the formations of mixed biofilms in the oral cavity using multiple anaerobic bacterial strains. My area of particular interest is the application of real-world solutions to hinder the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) because, according to Jim O'Neill's influential review on antimicrobial resistance (2016), the cost to human life if nothing is done could exceed 50 million deaths per annum by the year 2050 globally. If I can do anything to help lower these figures, morally, I feel obliged to help.

Honours & Awards


BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science - University of Plymouth.

Professional membership

  • Student Member of the Institute of Biomedical Science
  • Applied Microbiology International Associate Member
  • British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy Member
  • PG Member of the Microbiology Society



Research interests

I am part of the Molecular Microbiology Research Group, led by Associate Professor Tina Joshi.

Other research

Modus Laboratories (2022) - Research Assistant employed on the grant submitted by Associate Professor Tina Joshi (PI) and Professor Mathew Upton. We cultured multiple anaerobic bacteria to form oral biofilms in order to assess certain cleaning capabilities.

R&D Solutions (2022) - Research Assistant employed on the grant submitted by Associate Professor Tina Joshi (Co-PI) and Professor Mathew Upton (Co-PI). The project involved imaging the growth of anaerobic subgingival biofilms in a simulation of in vivo conditions.

Grants & contracts

School of Biomedical Sciences Summer Research Scholarship
As part of its commitment to research experiences, the School of Biomedical Sciences supported me with a grant to undertake biocide resistance research within the Microbial Diagnostics and Infection Control Research Group.


Key publications

Key publications are highlighted


In review: Malyshev, D., Jones, I. A., McKracken, M., Harper, G., Joshi, L. T. and Andersson, M., 2022. Characterizing the spores of a highly resilient sodium hypochlorite Clostridioides difficile strain using EM-imaging and micro-Raman spectroscopy.

McKracken M, Garner C & Joshi LT (2020) 'COVID-19 and antibiotic resistance – The calm before the storm' AMRC Open Research , DOI Open access


Other academic activities

Where possible, I volunteer to undertake public engagement activities through the University of Plymouth School of Biomedical Sciences or the Microbial Diagnostics and Infection Control Research Group. Recently, I engaged in the ‘Soapbox Science Exeter’ event, a platform that highlights the hard work and research of female scientists who are making major contributions to the scientific community. This event takes place every summer and is modelled after Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park, London. Exeter's Quayside, Piazza Terracina, was transformed into an arena for public learning and scientific debate, thereby creating a lively and bustling atmosphere, as well as a learning environment for everyone who attended.


Soapbox Science 

Molecular Microbiology Research Group

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week