Roe Research group

Research group A Roe, standing

This is the webpage of Andrew J. Roe's research group.

Our major focus of our work is the model organism, Escherichia coli, which is very diverse and can exist as a both a commensal or a pathogen causing serious infections.

As Escherichia coli is such a tractable organism, we utilize a wide variety of methods, ranging from microbiology and molecular biology, via biochemistry, to structural biology. We take full advantage our in house polyomics unit, a core facility at the University supporting transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics.

Our research programs include understanding how E. coli pathotypes colonise specific niches within the host, developing inhibitors of virulence factors, and the use of LOV-based fluorescent reporters to monitor protein production.

Major funding is provided by the BBSRC, with four grants to date. Our current BBSRC grant, in collaboration with Dr Konstantinos Gerasimidis, aims to understand how a specific D-amino acid (D-AA) affects susceptibility to, and recovery from, gastrointestinal infections is led by Dr Nicky O’Boyle.

Currently the group comprises six PhD students: James Mordue, Natasha Turner, Jeni Hallam, Kabo Wale, Patricia Rimbi, and Sofia Sandalli, plus one clinically active student, Gordan McCreath, covering a range of projects and techniques - see their individual pages for more details.

Past lab members have gone on to successful careers in many aspects of science and beyond. They form a key part of our science legacy and have contributed to over 70 papers and reviews. We are always keen to talk to motivated students or scientists at any stage of their career if they are keen to come to the lab for an experience, be it a summer placement, PhD project or personal Fellowship.

Recent Publications

Niche specificity:

Distinct intraspecies virulence mechanisms regulated by a conserved transcription factor. Connolly JPR, O'Boyle N, Turner NCA, Browning DF, Roe AJ. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Sep 24;116(39):19695-19704.

Host-associated niche metabolism controls enteric infection through fine-tuning the regulation of type 3 secretion. Connolly JPR, Slater SL, O'Boyle N, Goldstone RJ, Crepin VF, Ruano-Gallego D, Herzyk P, Smith DGE, Douce GR, Frankel G, Roe AJ. Nat Commun. 2018 Oct 10;9(1):4187

Structure function:

Aldehyde-alcohol dehydrogenase forms a high-order spirosome architecture critical for its activity. Kim G, Azmi L, Jang S, Jung T, Hebert H, Roe AJ, Byron O, Song JJ. Nat Commun. 2019 Oct 4;10(1):4527.

Structure and ligand binding of As-p18, an extracellular fatty acid binding protein from the eggs of a parasitic nematode. Ibáñez-Shimabukuro M et al., Biosci Rep. 2019 Jul 23;39(7).


Plastic circuits: regulatory flexibility in fine tuning pathogen success. O'Boyle, N., Turner, N. C.A., Roe, A. J. and Connolly, J. P.R. (2020) Trends in Microbiology, (doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2020.01.002)

Control freaks-signals and cues governing the regulation of virulence in attaching and effacing pathogens. Turner NCA, Connolly JPR, Roe AJ. Biochem Soc Trans. 2019 Feb 28;47(1):229-238