Dr Philip Warburton

Dr Philip Warburton

Lecturer in Medical Microbiology

School of Biomedical Sciences (Faculty of Health)

Lecturer in Medical Microbiology


2015: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA No.PR085534)
2013: PG Cert. Learning & Teaching in Higher Education. Anglia Ruskin University
2006: PhD Microbiology, "Molecular epidemiology of tetracycline resistance in periodontitis." King's College London
2001: BSc (Hons) Microbiology. University of Central Lancashire

Professional membership

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Member of the Microbiology Society
Member of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Member of the Society for Applied Microbiology

Teaching interests

Teaching areas include clinical and environmental microbiology, molecular genetics, infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance, and research understanding and development. I also supervise both undergraduate and postgraduate project students, as well as PhD students.

Programme lead for the MSc Biomedical Science

Teaching involvement:
  • BHCS1001 Biomedical investigation and experimentation
  • BHCS1002 Human anatomy and physiology: Cells to Systems
  • BHCS1005 Human disease
  • BHCS2003 Genetic continuity and diversity
  • BHCS3003 Clinical microbiology
  • BHCS3016 Public health infection sciences
  • BHCS3022 Contemporary issues in human health
  • BIO3008 Current developments in biomedical science
Research project supervision:
  • BHCS3021 BSc Healthcare sciences research project
  • BIO5006 MSc Biomedical science research project

Research interests

Antibiotic Resistance

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.

Bacterial Diversity

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

Key publications are highlighted

Takebayashi Y, Findlay J, Heesom KJ, Warburton PJ, Avison MB & Evans BA 2020 'Variability in carbapenemase activity of intrinsic OxaAb (OXA-51-like) β-lactamase enzymes in Acinetobacter baumannii' Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy , DOI Open access
Warburton PJ & Roberts AP 2016 'Comment on: Resistance gene naming and numbering: is it a new gene or not?' Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy dkw407-dkw407 , DOI Open access
Warburton PJ, Amodeo N & Roberts AP 2016 'Mosaic tetracycline resistance genes encoding ribosomal protection proteins' Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy dkw304-dkw304 , DOI Open access
Arivaradarajan P, Warburton PJ, Paramasamy G, Nair SP, Allan E & Mullany P 2016 'Identification of an antibacterial protein by functional screening of a human oral metagenomic library' FEMS Microbiology Letters 363, (1) fnv200-fnv200 , DOI Open access
Arivaradarajan P, Paramasamy G, Nair SP, Allan E & Mullany P 2015 'Identification of an antibacterial protein by functional screening of a human oral metagenomic library' FEMS Microbiology Letters 362, (18) fnv142-fnv142 , DOI Open access
Card RM, Warburton PJ, MacLaren N, Mullany P, Allan E & Anjum MF 2014 'Application of Microarray and Functional-Based Screening Methods for the Detection of Antimicrobial Resistance Genes in the Microbiomes of Healthy Humans' PLoS ONE 9, (1) 0-0 , DOI Open access
Warburton PJ, Ciric L, Lerner A, Seville LA, Roberts AP, Mullany P & Allan E 2012 'TetAB(46), a predicted heterodimeric ABC transporter conferring tetracycline resistance in Streptococcus australis isolated from the oral cavity' Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 68, (1) 17-22 , DOI Open access
Mullany P, Allan E & Warburton PJ 2012 'Tetracycline resistance genes and mobile genetic elements from the oral metagenome' Clinical Microbiology and Infection 18, 58-61 , DOI
Brouwer MSM, Warburton PJ, Roberts AP, Mullany P & Allan E 2011 'Genetic Organisation, Mobility and Predicted Functions of Genes on Integrated, Mobile Genetic Elements in Sequenced Strains of Clostridium difficile' PLoS ONE 6, (8) e23014-e23014 , DOI Open access
Warburton PJ, Allan E, Hunter S, Ward J, Booth V, Wade WG & Mullany P 2011 'Isolation of bacterial extrachromosomal DNA from human dental plaque associated with periodontal disease, using transposon-aided capture (TRACA)' FEMS Microbiology Ecology 78, (2) 349-354 , DOI Open access
Warburton P, Roberts AP, Allan E, Seville L, Lancaster H & Mullany P 2009 'Characterization of tet(32) Genes from the Oral Metagenome' Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 53, (1) 273-276 , DOI
Warburton PJ, Palmer RM, Munson MA & Wade WG 2007 'Demonstration of in vivo transfer of doxycycline resistance mediated by a novel transposon' Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 60, (5) 973-980 , DOI Open access
Mullany P, Allan E & Warburton PJ 2011 'Chapter 9: The Human Oral Metagenome' Metagenomics of the Human Body Springer New York 165-173 , DOI

Other academic activities

Grant reviewer, Health Research Board, Ireland.
Manuscript reviewer, Journal of Medical Microbiology
Manuscript reviewer, Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Manuscript reviewer, FEMS Microbiology Ecology