Redefining mobility in bacterial genetics and its impact on infectious disease

José R Penadés is Professor of Microbiology and Director Centre for bacterial Resistance Biology, at Imperial College London. Research in Penadés lab has focused for the last two decades into the molecular basis of bacterial virulence, using Staphylococcus aureus as a model, with a major focus on the mechanisms underlying the transfer of different mobile genetic elements involved in pathogenesis.
Professor Penadés work has redefined the concept of mobility in bacterial genetics. He discovered the most powerful mode of phage transduction described to date: lateral transduction. He demonstrated that via lateral transduction, the mobility of the bacterial chromosomes exceeds that of elements classically considered to be mobile, forcing a re-definition of what a mobile genetic element is. He has also discovered and characterised the mechanism of transfer of a widespread and clinically important family of mobile genetic elements, the Phage-Inducible Chromosomal Islands. Prof. Penadés is Member of the European Academy of Microbiology and an EMBO member, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.