Dr Philip Warburton
Lecturer in Medical Microbiology
School of Biomedical & Healthcare Sciences (Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry)
Lecturer in Medical Microbiology
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
My main teaching areas include clinical and environmental microbiology, molecular genetics, infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance, as well as supervising undergraduate and postgraduate projects.
The World Health Organisation has declared antibiotic resistance as one of the major threats facing public health as bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics of last resort which are critical in the treatment of diseases. My interests are focused on identifying the genetic basis of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, and understanding how this resistance is acquired and maintained in bacteria. Many antibiotic resistance genes are carried on mobile genetic elements, such as plasmids, conjugative transposons and integrative genetic elements, which are able to transfer between different bacteria further disseminating resistance. My investigations include looking at antibiotic resistance in bacteria from both clinical and environmental area which can contribute to hospital-acquired and community-acquired infections, and looking at diversity in the resistance mechanisms and their associated genetic elements.
In addition to the research in antibiotic resistance, I also look at novel antimicrobial strategies including identifying novel antimicrobial compounds.
Bacteria often live in complex communities that can comprise several hundred different species. Many of these communities are poorly investigated, with limited knowledge on their composition and diversity. My research looks at bacteria community diversity, understanding what bacteria are present and potentially investigating them for novel compounds and enzymes.
I currently have a number of collaborate partners and interested parties which include the Animal and Plant Health Agency (part of DEFRA), Anglia Ruskin University, Philip Parker Associates Environmental Consultancy, the Church of England and the National Trust, along with other charities and organisations.
I always welcome prospective PhD students which have an interest in these related areas. Please contact me in the first instance.
Grants & contracts
NERC Industrial CASE Studentship - Co-I with Professor Richard Thompson; ~£75,000. Quantifying the influence of waste water treatment on the release of microplastics to the environment
Society for Applied Microbiology PhD Studentship - Co-I with Dr. Mat Upton, Dr Kerry Howell and Dr Alistair Bishop; £67,250). Deep Sea Discovery - Investigating deep sea sponges for novel bacteriocins, with Mr Matthew Koch. October 2017 - September 2020.
Plymouth University PhD Studentship - Co-I with Dr Kerry Howell, Dr Mat Upton and Dr Alistair Bishop; ~£61,000. The microbial ecology of deep sea sponges and mining for novel biologics, with Ms Poppy Hesketh-Best. September 2017 - August 2020.
Harry Smith Vacation Studentship, Microbiology Society. Determining antibiotic resistance in bacteria from treated waste water, with Ms Melissa Temlett. June 2017 - August 2017. (PI; £1845)
Anglia Ruskin University Postgraduate Studentship (tuition fee only) - Co-PI with Dr. Benjamin Evans; ~£19,000). Investigating antibiotic resistance in aquatic sources, with Mr David Doherty. September 2015.
Microbiology Society Harry Smith Vacation Studentship - PI; £1865. Investigating the molecular mechanisms of carbapenem resistance; with Mr Elliot Harper. June 2015 - August 2015.
Deputy Vice Chancellor Extra-curricular Award, Anglia Ruskin University. CoIlaboration with Dr. Richard Jones; £1500. February 2015.
Anglia Ruskin University, Postdoctoral Award. Co-I with Dr. Benjamin Evans; ~£48,000. Determining the mechanisms of carbapenem resistance in Acinetobacter baumanii; with Yuiko Takebayashi. November 2014 - October 2015.
Enterprising Academics Award. Anglia Ruskin University. PI; £5000. Investigating pathogens and antibiotic resistance in UK farms. September 2014 - June 2015.
Anglia Ruskin University Graduate Summer Studentship. PI; £2000. Investigating bacterial diversity in faecal samples; with Mr Harry Tracey. June 2014 - August 2014.
Anglia Ruskin University Graduate Summer Studentship. PI; £2000. Investigating antibiotic resistance in clinical Enterococcus; with Ms Charlotte Bygraves. June 2013 - August 2013
Anglia Ruskin University Postgraduate Studentship. (Co-PI with Dr. Benjamin Evans; ~£60,000. Investigating the mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance in oral bacteria; with Mr Simon Whelan. March 2013 - February 2016.
Key publications are highlightedJournals