PA01: Plant Extracts against Resistant Skin pathogens

Supervisory Team

Dr Liz O'Gara, School of Biomedical Science and Physiological Science and  Professor Nazira Karodia & Professor David Hill, School of Biology, Chemistry and Forensic Science

Project Description

With the level of antibiotic resistance increasing and persistence of reoccurring infections of the skin, attention has been focused on expanding the spectrum of topical antimicrobials available through alternative sources (Brotz- Oesterhelt & Sass, 2010). The potentials of antimicrobial natural products have a valued position in the field of medicine, along with the development of new, updated technologies, allowing isolation, extraction and structure elucidation for identification of new molecules from lead compounds from plants sources. 

There are currently a wide range of antibiotics supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) but the rate of new antibiotic discovery and approval has not kept up with the growing levels of drug resistance. Continual investigation for discovery of active compounds from the availability of 250,000 to 500,000 plant species across the globe is therefore of upmost importance (Osman, et al., 2012). 

This study will involve the collection and preparation of active plant extracts using a variety of extraction methods. The antimicrobial effectiveness of these extracts against resistant skin pathogens will be tested by high throughput assay. The most promising plant extracts will be analysed and actives separated using techniques such as HPLC and GC. Further investigation will include testing combinations of plant extracts and conventional antimicrobials, anti-virulence assays and in vitro modelling of the skin environment. 

The successful candidate will be trained in a range of techniques used in skin modelling and will develop skills in microbiology. Laboratory work will be undertaken within the University of Wolverhampton’s new Science Centre, the Rosalind Franklin building, which houses a broad range of state-of-the-art research facilities suitable for undertaking this multidisciplinary project. 


We welcome applications at any time from self-funded students that are well qualified and highly motivated. Applicants should have a recognized Honours or Masters degree with a 2.1 or equivalent in microbiology or biomedical science (or a related field).

Applicants whose entry award was not delivered in English, or non-native speaker of English shall be required to demonstrate proficiency in English at least to the level of an IELTS score of 7.0 or its equivalent. 

How to apply

Complete the Research Project Application Form (Word doc 679k) and email to

See Guidance for the Completion of the Research Project Application Form (Word doc 23k) for details.

For more information

For an informal discussion please contact Dr Liz O’Gara (