Our Team

The MIC is led by Director Professor Jo Fothergill and Deputy Director Professor Steve Paterson. The centre's leadership board meets quarterly and is comprised of academics who represent the breadth of the university's clinical, veterinary and fundamental microbiome expertise. Learn more about our team below.


Professor Jo Fothergill
MIC Director, Professor in Medical Microbiology

Jo was awarded the Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship and a fellowship from the Medical Research Foundation. Her work focuses on Gram negative pathogens, particularly in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, in chronic infections. She studies adaptation, diversity, virulence and interactions in polymicrobial infections using clinical samples, model systems and sequencing.

Professor Steve Paterson
MIC Deputy Director, Co-Director of the Centre for Genomics Research 

Steve’s research focuses on genetic diversity and evolution in host-parasite interactions using a variety of systems including, host resistance to infection in natural populations of animals, genomics of infection and drug resistance in helminth parasites of livestock and diversity of microbial infections of cystic fibrosis patients.

Professor George Oikonomou
Leadership Board Member, Professor of Cattle Health and Welfare 

George is a veterinarian and former dairy farm manager whose research focuses on the improvement of the welfare of dairy cattle and of the sustainability of dairy farms. He was a co-Project Director on a USDA-funded project studying the dynamics of the mammary microbiome and is currently investigating dairy cattle lameness using genomic and microbiomic approaches, funded by BBSRC, Innovate Uk, the Wellcome Trust, the Animal Welfare Foundation, and the Academy of Medical Sciences. In addition to contributing to the overall leadership of the MIC, George represents the veterinary microbiome expertise of MIC affiliates to the board.

Dr Dan Wootton
Leadership Board Member, Senior Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Respiratory Physician 

Dan’s clinical work and research focusses on respiratory tract infections including pneumonia, bronchiectasis and mycobacterial lung diseases. For example, the HAP-FAST trial involves molecular detection the pathogens which cause hospital acquired pneumonia. Dan brings a clinical perspective to the board, supporting the MIC to strengthen its clinical partnerships and ensuring the centre considers the potential clinical applications of its activity.

Dr Sharon Zytynksa
Leadership Board Member, BBSRC David Philips Research Fellow

Sharon’s research focusses on plant-microbe-insect interactions. She is currently investigating how beneficial soil bacteria induce plant defences against insect pests in crop plants, across varying biotic and abiotic environments. She also studies the specialised endosymbiont bacterial communities of aphids, which can confer aphid resistance to natural enemy attack and reduce biocontrol effectiveness. Sharon is interested in expanding the MIC’s work in the field of plant and ecological science in order to respond to the global challenge of how we sustainably feed a growing population. Sharon is also interested in developing the capacity of the MIC and representing the interests of ECRs to the board.   

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