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Dr Adam Roberts
Department of Microbial Diseaes
UCL Eastman Dental Institute
256 Gray's Inn Road
Tel: 2034561044
Fax: 2034561127
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Microbial Diseases
  • Eastman Dental Institute
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences

Adam graduated with an Honours degree in Applied Biology from Coventry University in 1995. In 1996 he began research at the Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Aberdeen , investigating the molecular genetics of Tn5397, a conjugative transposon found in Clostridium difficile . He moved from Aberdeen to the Eastman Dental Institute in 1998 to complete his PhD.
Adam was appointed as a Research Fellow at the Eastman in 1999, to Lecturer in 2006 and to Senior Lecturer in 2012.

News from the Group

20th October 2015 Adam appointed as an advisor to the Longitude Prize; https://longitudeprize.org/ 

1st April 2016 New PhD student joins the group; Welcome Sarah Alharbi who will be investigating MGEs in C. difficile

1st May 2016 New review published on Metagenomics, AMR and Oral Bacteria (PMID;27183895)

May 2016 Well done Enas, Asyura, Supathep, Liam & Ajijur for obtaining many various Travel Grants from the Eastman Dental Institute, UCL, American Society for Microbiology, Federation of European Microbiology Societies, Society for Applied Microbiology.

1st June 2016 Welcome back Li Chin who joins the group on a Harry Smith Vacation Summer Studentship funded by the Microbiology Society

15th June 2016 Supathep and Ajijur publish their first paper on Integrons in Oral Bacteria (PMID; 27304457)

19th June 2016 Ajijur receives the Mäkelä–Cassell Award for Early Career Scientists at ASM Microbe 2016 http://www.ucl.ac.uk/eastman/about/news/articles/makela-cassell-award

15th-20th June 2016 Ajijur, Enas, Liam, Supathep and Adam attend and present at ASM Microbe 2016 in Boston, USA.

26th-28th June 2016 Asyura and Supanan present their work at the Biofilms 7 Conference in Porto, Portugal.

Research Summary

Current Research

His research is concentrated on investigating the genetic basis for transferable antimicrobial resistance and virulence, predominantly in the Firmicutes. In addition he has a long standing interest in mobile genetic elements (MGEs) found throughout all domains of life. 

Adam is currently involved in projects investigating the contribution of mobile genetic elements to, and the molecular basis of virulence of Clostridium difficile. Additionally he has projects investigating the emergence and persistence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in humans, the molecular evolution of mobile genetic elements and their biological cost to the host cell, mobile genetic elements and resistance genes in microbial metagenomes from human, animal and environmental samples and horizontal gene transfer in clinically important biofilms. 

His group is currently funded by the BBSRC, the Schlumberger Foundation flagship program; Faculty for the Future, DEFRA, Commonwealth Scholarships,  The EU, The Saudi Arabian, Malaysian and Thai Governments, The Eastman Foundation for Oral Research and Training (EFFORT) and UCL.

Current Group

PhD students

Ms Deena Alharbi (HGT), Ms Sarah Alharbi (MGEs), Ms Zeina Alkudmani, (Clostridium difficile virulence), Ms Asyura Amdan (Biofilms, resistance and MGEs), Ms Norashirene Jamil: (MGEs), Ms Enas Newire; (Antibiotic resistance and MGEs), Mr Ajijur Rahman (Metagenomics, resistance and HGT), Mr Liam Reynolds; (Metagenomic drug and drug resistance discovery), Ms Supanan Sucharit (metagenomic enzyme discovery), Mr Supathep Tansirichaiya (Resistance, MGEs & Metagenomics), Mr Tim Walker (Drug discovery).

Erasmus student

Ms Kimie Rosendahl,

Summer Student

Li Chin Wong


Mr Marco Cristarella

Previous members of the group (and where they are now);

Dr Mohammed Al-Haroni (Tromsø University, Norway), Dr Amitabha Bhattacharjee; (Assam University, India), Dr Michael Brouwer (Central Veterinary Institute, Netherlands), Dr Lena Ciric; (UCL, UK), Dr Azmiza Jasni; (Universiti Putra, Malaysia), Dr Francesco Santoro; (Siena University, Italy), Dr Maria Amalie Seier-Petersen; (Technical University of Denmark & National Food Institute, Denmark), Dr Xiaobo Song; (Tromsø University, Norway), Dr Philip Warburton; (Anglia Ruskin University, UK), Dr Rachael Whalan, Dr Rachel Williams; (UCL, UK).

Research Opportunities

In Adam's lab there are currently projects available investigating various aspects of mobile genetic elements and antimicrobial resistance. Additional projects are available investigating the human microbiome. Potential MSc and PhD students and individuals suitable for personal fellowships should contact Adam directly.

Related sites

Tn number Registry; http://www.ucl.ac.uk/eastman/research/departments/microbial-diseases/tn

Mobile Genetic Elements; http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/kmge20/current

Swab and Send; https://www.swabandsend.co.uk 

Teaching Summary

Academic Background
2009 PGCLTHE Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education – Education University College London
2002 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Microbiology University of London
1995 BSc Hons Bachelor of Science – Applied Biology Coventry University
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