Ian Chopra


Ian gained his PhD in Microbiology from Bristol University in 1972.  Following positions as Lecturer and Reader at Bristol, he moved in 1989 to Lederle Laboratories, New York where he contributed to the discovery of a new antibiotic, tigecycline.  He returned to the United Kingdom in 1991, first as Vice-President for Microbiology Research at SmithKline Beecham, and then in 1996 to a chair in Microbiology at the University of Leeds in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology.  He has published over 200 papers and patents on antibiotics.

From 1996 until his appointment as Emeritus Professor in 2012, Ian led the School’s multi-disciplinary research team investigating mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in bacteria and ways to overcome this by the discovery of new antibiotic drug leads.  Many of the research students he trained, including Professor Alex O’Neill and Dr Chris Randall in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, have remained in this important area of research.  In recognition of Ian’s expertise in antibiotics he was awarded an honorary degree from the University of L’Aquila, Italy in 2007 and in 2010 was appointed to the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy “Urgent Need” Committee seeking solutions for the research and development of new antibiotics.  He was further honoured by the Society in 2012 as recipient of the Garrod Medal, the highest  distinction awarded by the Society.

Building in particular upon the considerable research experience he gained at Leeds in multi-disciplinary science, he is now focusing on public engagement in science by giving lectures to provide a balanced view of the dangers of antibiotic resistance and an outline of the complex procedures of new drug discovery.  These public lectures aim to provide a fuller understanding of the issues than is commonly available through the mass media.

Publications relevant to public engagement in Science

Chopra I, Hodgson J, Metcalf B, Poste G. (1996).
New approaches to the control of infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria.  An industry perspective.
Journal of the American Medical Association 275(5): 401-3.

Simmons KJ, Chopra I, Fishwick CW (2010).
Structure-based discovery of antibacterial drugs.
Nature Reviews Microbiology 8(7): 501-10.

Chopra,I. (2013).
The 2012 Garrod lecture: discovery of antibacterial drugs in the 21st century.
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 68(3): 496-505.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>