Microbiologist magazine

Microbiologist is FREE to all Society members. Published four times a year, in March, June, September and December, this 60 page magazine provides detailed information on the latest research, topics, reviews, event and news on a wide variety of microbiological topics.


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Microbiologist Editorial Group

The Microbiologist Editorial Group meets three times a year and is responsible for planning all contents of Microbiologist magazine. The group is chaired by the Head of Communications and Business Development and comprises seven elected members of the Society.

  • Paul Sainsbury image

    Paul Sainsbury

    Head of Communications and Business Development & Editor of Microbiologist

    Paul initially trained as a journalist and has over ten years’ experience in marketing and communications working for commercial companies such as Harrods and the Freeplay wind-up radio. His passion for science comms took him back to University and he graduated with a BSc First Class (Hons) in Chemistry where he studied the inhibition of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in malaria parasites as part of his final year dissertation. He later gained a distinction in his Master’s degree at King’s College London in Analytical Toxicology where he worked on the synthesis and analytical profiling of novel monoamine neurotransmitter reuptake inhibitors. Paul completed a PhD at the University of Warwick entitled “Biocatalytic Valorisation of Lignin via Genetic or Chemical Intervention of Bacterial Aromatic Degradation Pathways” and has published a number of scientific papers and articles on his speciality of human and bacterial enzymology. Paul is responsible for the development and implementation of marketing, communications and membership strategies for the Society. He is also responsible for increasing the value of Member benefits through the development of key partnerships, digital platforms, public engagement activities and brand management. He also offers support to the SfAM's ECS Committee and Corporate Member Group.

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  • Louise Hill-King image

    Louise Hill-King

    Regular Content Editor

    Louise is a Senior Biomedical Scientist in the Microbiology Department at Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey. She graduated from the University of Sheffield in 1987 with a BSc in Chemistry and Astronomy. This raised the eyebrows of her tutor (a certain Philip Wheat) when she enrolled onto the MSc course in Medical Microbiology at Sheffield. She hasn't escaped from Medical Microbiology since. Apart from a year as a Research Scientist for Cambridge Life Sciences in Ely, she has spent all of her working life in NHS laboratories in Sheffield, Leeds, Morley and now Frimley. Louise runs lunchtime Continuing Professional Development meetings in her own laboratory and is involved with Wessex Applied Microbiologists (WAM), organizing evening meetings across central, southern England. Her main role is validation and implementation of new methods. She was volunteered onto the Publications Subcommittee by a grammatically challenged SfAM committee member. They were tired of having their spelling corrected so thought they’d direct her attention elsewhere! Louise's role on the Subcommittee is Grants Editor, editing reports submitted by those who’ve been awarded SfAM grants to attend meetings/courses/conferences they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to attend.

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  • Nicola Stanley-Wall image

    Nicola Stanley-Wall

    Features Editor

    Nicola received her PhD from the University of East Anglia in 2000 and was an EMBO Long term fellow at the University of California at Los Angeles where she was based from 2001-2005. Following being awarded a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship she moved to the College of Life Sciences within the University of Dundee to establish her own research team. She is interested in how single celled bacteria can act at as a multicellular community to inhabit and exploit their environment. She uses a range of molecular biology techniques alongside biophysics, mathematical modelling and high powered microscopy to achieve this. She is interested in public understanding of science and always has a communication project on the go! She was promoted to Professor of Molecular Microbiology in 2015 at the University of Dundee. Nicola is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).

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    Ayuen Lual

    Features Editor

    yuen graduated from the University of Southampton in 1999 with a BSc in Biochemistry before joining the Public Health Laboratory Service in 2001 as a Healthcare Scientist in the Food, Water and Environmental (FWE) Laboratory at Southampton General Hospital. Ayuen completed an MSc in Public Health Science (Food and Drinking Water) with the University of Hertfordshire in 2009 at the then Health Protection Agency (HPA) FWE laboratory in Colindale, London. Since 2011 Ayuen has worked for Public Health England (formerly HPA) as a Standards Microbiologist producing UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations a collection of documents (laboratory methods, algorithms and guidance notes) for use in clinical microbiology laboratories. She has been involved with the introduction of patient and public involvement in the development of UK SMIs. In 2012 Ayuen participated in the HPA Microbiology Services Olympics and Paralympics response team. Ayuen has been a member of SfAM since 2008. She is a Registered Scientist and member of the Institute of Food Science and Technology and the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease, and an affiliate member of The Royal College of Pathologists. Her interests span method development and standardisation with a focus on scientific communication and public engagement.

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  • Brendan Gilmore image

    Brendan Gilmore

    Vice President

    Brendan graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Pharmacy (1999) and a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry (2004) from Queen’s University Belfast. He was appointed to a Lectureship in Pharmaceutics (Pharmaceutical Microbiology) in July 2004 in the School of Pharmacy at Queen’s. In 2005 he was a visiting researcher in the laboratory of Prof Howard Ceri, University of Calgary, where he remains a visiting scientist in the Biofilm Research Group. He was promoted to Professor of Pharmaceutical Microbiology in 2015. His research aims to elucidate the mechanistic and biochemical pathways central to the process of microbial biofilm formation and to uncover novel targets for prevention of microbial biofilms; spanning microbiology, chemical biology, and synthetic/medicinal chemistry directed toward antimicrobial and anti-biofilm applications. His main interests include the role of proteolytic enzymes in biofilm formation and development of novel approaches for biofilm control in chronic infections. He has an active research interest in antibiotic biodiscovery from marine bacteria and achaea (extreme halophiles). Brendan is the 2013 recipient of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Science Award for his research contributions in the field of biofilm control and pharmaceutical microbiology. He is an editor of the textbook ‘Hugo & Russell’s Pharmaceutical Microbiology’ (8th Ed) and is responsible for teaching all aspects of pharmaceutical microbiology and infectious diseases to undergraduate pharmacy students at QUB.

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  • Elaine Cloutman-Green image

    Elaine Cloutman-Green

    Committee Member

    Dr Elaine Cloutman-Green has worked as a Clinical Scientist since 2004. In 2015 she completed a PhD under the NIHR CSO Doctoral Fellowship scheme and her research on prevention of healthcare associated infection led to an NIHR ICA Clinical Lectureship award in 2016. In 2015 she was appointed the first UK based International Ambassador for the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America. In 2016 she became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Royal College of Pathologists and was appointed as a NICE Expert. She represents Healthcare Scientists as part of the ACB, and as Country Ambassador for the American Society of Microbiology.

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  • Nick Jakubovics image

    Nick Jakubovics

    Features Editor

    Nick graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1994 with a BSc in Natural Sciences (Biochemistry). He switched to the field of Applied Microbiology for a PhD at Warwick University studying the growth of biofilms in tap water drinking distribution systems. Upon completing the PhD in 1998, Nick moved to Prof. Howard Jenkinson’s lab at the University of Bristol. In two successive Post-Doctoral positions, Nick first identified a novel manganese-dependent regulator in the oral bacterium Streptococcus gordonii, and then established a heterologous cell surface protein expression system for characterising the functions of different members of a key family of streptococcal cell surface adhesins. In 2000, Nick received a Colgate Research Award to visit Dr Paul Kolenbrander’s lab at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD. This visit ultimately lead to an NIH Fellowship from 2004-2007, where Nick worked in the Kolenbrander lab studying gene regulation in oral bacteria during the formation of mixed-species communities. In 2007, Nick secured a lectureship in Oral Microbiology at Newcastle University School of Dental Sciences, where he has set up an active research laboratory focussed on the nature of the oral biofilm matrix and on gene regulation during the early steps of dental plaque accumulation. Nick has been a member of SfAM since 2007. He was awarded the New Lecturer Grant in 2010 to support his work on the role of extracellular DNA in oral biofilms. He joined the SfAM Executive Committee in Autumn 2011 and is on the Microbiologist Editorial Group, which oversees the production of the Society’s magazine.

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  • Clare Taylor image

    Clare Taylor

    General Secretary and Chair of the Policy Subcommittee

    Clare has been a Society member since 1997, when she was a PhD student at the University of Manchester. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Medical Microbiology at Edinburgh Napier University, where she is also Head of Student Experience and Employability in the School of Life, Sport & Social Sciences. The main focus of her research is on understanding host-microbe interactions, particularly of intracellular bacteria that cause human infection, and the aims of her research are to understand how bacterial gene expression is modulated in response to the host environment, and how this contributes to microbial pathogenicity. Clare is also involved in several multi-disciplinary projects and the applied aspects of her research include developing novel antimicrobial strategies. She has a keen interest in public engagement, including performing at Edinburgh Fringe, and also chairs the University’s Public Engagement Forum. Clare is active in encouraging women into science working alongside colleagues across STEM disciplines and Equate Scotland. Clare served on the Executive Committee of the Society from 2010 – 2014 and is also a Features Editor for Microbiologist.

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    Marcela Hernandez Garcia

    Committee Member

    Marcela completed her PhD in Natural Resources in 2010 in Chile. After completing her PhD, she received an award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to perform her postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, in Marburg, Germany. In 2015, she moved to the UK to become a NERC research fellow in Environmental Microbiology at the University of Southampton (UoS). Marcela is currently a visiting research fellow at the UoS and is doing a research stay as a Humboldt fellow at the Thünen Institute for Biodiversity, Braunschweig, Germany. Her career is dedicated to studying how microbial communities establish in soils perturbed either by human manipulation or natural disturbance, specifically methanogens in paddy rice soils, carbon monoxide oxidisers in volcanic soils, antimicrobial resistance in agricultural soils and the resilience of microbial communities in archived soils. She uses high-throughput sequencing and stable-isotope probing to assess community diversity and function. Marcela is editor of the Journal of Applied Microbiology and has been a member of the SfAM since 2017. Marcela is highly involved in outreach, receiving in 2017 the UoS “Research Communicator Road-show Award” for outstanding public engagement. Marcela is also a Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) visiting professor at the Institute of Soil Science CAS-Nanjing, China.

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