Dr James W B Moir
Professor

Profile

Career

2016 -  Professor Department of Biology, University of York
2013 - 2016 Reader Department of Biology, University of York
2006 - 2013 Senior Lecturer Department of Biology, University of York 
2002 - 2006 Lecturer Department of Biology, University of York 
1996 - 2001 Lecturer Dept. Mol. Biology & Biotech., University of Sheffield
1993 - 1996 Post-doc Research Associate University of East Anglia
1993 DPhil University of Oxford
1990 BA Biochemistry (2:i) University of Oxford

Departmental roles

Chair of Teaching Committee

Associate Chair of Board of Studies

University roles

Member of Senate

Research

Overview

The work in my research group is focused around understanding how bacteria interact with their environment, efficiently exploit the nutrients that are available, and impact on the overall function of the system they are part of. A major focus is metabolic and respiratory processes, how these are regulated, how they relate to the multi-species microbial community, and the mechanism of their action. The scope of our work covers projects in areas related to (a) medically important microorganisms, such as the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis which causes potentially fatal human diseases meningitis and septicaemia, and (b) environmental processes such as agricultural soils, where we are interested in how the microbial community functions in processes such as nitrogen transformations and pesticide degradation. 

Discoveries

We have made progress in our understanding of regulation and structure of respiratory processes in the human pathogen Neisseria meningitidis. The identification of two nitric oxide sensing transcriptional regulators has given us insight into the way the organism deals with this key physiological toxin / signalling molecule. We have identified roles for various components of the branched respiratory chain in N. meningitidis revealing a novel mechanism for transfer of electrons between different membranes in bacteria.

Projects

A bacterial community analysis of pesticide degradation in agricultural soils (joint with Food and Environment Research Agency , FERA)

Using carbon monoxide releasing molecules as therapeutic agents (joint with Ian Fairlamb and Jason Lynam, Chemistry)

Using microbiological and metagenomic approaches to identify pesticide degradation mechanisms (joint with Food and Environment Research Agency , FERA)

Mechanistic analysis of hydrogenase oxygen tolerance in enteric bacteria (joint with Alison Parkin, Chemistry)

Pathogen specific gene islands in Neisseria meningitidis

Research group(s)

StatusNameProject
PhD student Lindsey Flanagan Mechanistic analysis of hydrogenase oxygen tolerance in enteric bacteria
PhD student

John Thomas

Using microbiological and metagenomic approaches to identify pesticide degradation mechanisms
PhD student

Adrian Chu

Pathogen specific gene islands in Neisseria meningitidis
PhD student

Tim Rozday

Identification of treatment strategies for Neisseria, by modelling metabolic interactions
MSc by Research

Emily Fotopoulou

Interactions between Neisseria gonorrhoeae and the vaginal microbiome

Available PhD research projects

Antibacterial activity of Carbon Monoxide releasing molecules (2015-16)

Carbon monoxide is a well-known toxic gas. However, it is also a normal part of human physiology, being generated during the normal turnover of haem. In previous work we have found that CO release from metal carbonyl compounds known as CO releasing molecules (CORMs) has specifically antibacterial properties. In this project, we intend to extend this work by exploring more deeply the mechanism of action of CORMs against specific bacterial pathogens in order to (i) identify the target sites of action, (ii) determine the influence of environmental conditions on the cytotoxicity of CORMs, and (iii) determine whether CORMs can be used as suitable drugs against bacterial infections in in vitro disease models and tissue culture. 

The project will be based in the Biology department where the focus will be on using microbiological and biochemical methods to analyse CORM function. Additionally, there will be the opportunity to carry out design and synthesis of CORMs in Chemistry. This project is an interdisciplinary project, in which you will be trained to work with both the chemical and biological aspects essential to success in the project.

Co directors: Ian Fairlamb and Jason Lynam (Chemistry)

Dr James W B Moir

Contact details

Dr James W B Moir
Professor
Department of Biology (Area 10)
University of York
Heslington
York
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 328677

http://www-users.york.ac.uk/~jm46/