University of Wolverhampton Antimicrobial Research & Development (UWARD) group

Developing solutions to tackling infections and problems of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Group Leader

Professor David Hill

Group research interests

  • Development and evaluation of new antimicrobial compounds
  • Infection control and surface disinfection
  • Microbial biofilms and mechanisms for enhancing antimicrobial regimes
  • Plant antimicrobials as natural healthcare products
  • Gel and encapsulation technologies for delivery of antimicrobial compounds

 

Group members

Synthetic Antimicrobials

Combines expertise of synthetic organic chemistry with microbiology and antimicrobial chemotherapy, synthesising small molecules, surfactants, heterocyclic compounds and polymers with antimicrobial potential.

Within the group exists the ability to perform a wide variety of antimicrobial testing and drug sensitivity profiling against bacteria, fungi, helminths, viruses and protozoa.

Selected organisms include:

  • Bacteria – Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Serratia marcescens, Bacillus subtilis, Mycobacterium spp and ISO 14729 contact lens disinfection testing.
  • Fungi – Fusarium solani, Candida albicans.
  • Helminths – Ascaris suum.
  • Protozoa – Plasmodium spp, Entamoeba spp, Giardia duodenale, Cryptosporidium parvum, Acanthamoeba spp.
  • Viruses – Hepatitis A, poliovirus, and coxsackievirus.
  • Human cells lines for toxicity testing and cancer chemotherapy screening.

Group Members:

Dr Wayne Heaselgrave (Biomedical Science)

Dr Dan Keddie (Chemistry)

Dr Gary Hix (Chemistry)

Dr Claire Martin (Pharmacy)

Professor Nazira Karodia (Chemistry)

Dr Ayesha Rahman (Pharmacy)

Dr Becky Butler (Pharmacy)

 

Antimicrobial Enhancement

Research Interests: Investigating agents that enhance the activity of antimicrobials (antibiotics, disinfectants, and peptides) and elucidating the underlying molecular mechanisms. In particular the work focusses on antimicrobial strategies for biofilm control including inhibition of biofilm formation and/or dispersal of mature biofilms in Gram positive and Gram negative microorganisms. These studies have relevance in pharmaceutical/clinical, food and environmental sectors primarily focussing upon bacterial biofilms that include Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Listeria monocytogenes and members of the Enterobacteriacae family.

Group Members:

Dr Ayesha Rahman (Pharmacy)

Dr Hazel Gibson (Biology)

Dr Becky Butler (Pharmacy)

 

Plant Antimicrobials

Research Interests: Antimicrobial effects of plant extracts against pathogenic microorganisms from a selection of environmental niches (e.g Skin and gastrointestinal). Factors affecting efficacy are explored including synergy with other antimicrobial agents, environmental factors and resistance. Other areas of interest include activity against virulence factors such as biofilm formation and motility and the use of herbs and spices to control food spoilage and pathogens (eg Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes) .

 

The group has expertise in the preparation, isolation and structural analysis of plant extracts, a wide variety of antimicrobial testing techniques and in vitro modelling especially of the gastrointestinal tract.

 

Group Members:

Dr Liz O’Gara (Biomedical Science)

Professor David Hill (Biology)

Professor Nazira Karodia (Chemistry)

 

Drug Delivery

Research Interests: Development of responsive controlled release delivery systems for wound management, formulation and assay development of novel antimicrobial agents as well as development of non-parenteral formulations for the delivery of anti-infective agent. Infection control has focused on oropharyngeal, gastrointestinal and wound infection delivery systems for antibiotics, botantical preparations, metal ions (eg silver) and probiotic bacteria

Delivery materials have included microencapsulation technology, hydrogels and bacterial biopolymers (polyglutamic acid and cellulose gels)

Dr Claire Martin (Pharmacy)

Dr Martin Khechara (Biomedical Science)

Dr Iza Radecka (Biology)

Dr Gary Hix (Chemistry)