Professor Alex O'Neill

Professor Alex O'Neill


  • Co-Lead of AMR@Leeds (

Research interests

Dissecting the molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, and discovery of new antibacterial drugs.

Antibiotics enable the treatment and cure of life-threatening bacterial infections, and represent one of the great successes of modern medicine. Unfortunately, the utility of these agents is being progressively eroded as bacteria evolve to resist their effects.

My laboratory seeks to better understand and address this problem through a combination of fundamental and applied research. Whilst our core expertise is molecular microbiology, we favour a multi-disciplinary approach that involves working closely with medicinal chemists, structural biologists and clinical scientists.

O'Neill lab




Current main areas of focus are;

(i) The molecular mechanisms of resistance to antibiotics, particularly in the ‘superbug’, Staphylococcus aureus

  • Investigating the genetic basis for the emergence and maintenance of resistance and tolerance to antibiotics
  • Characterization of genetic elements involved in spreading antibiotic resistance
  • Understanding the biochemical and structural basis for antibiotic resistance

Alex O'Neill Faculty of Biological Sciences


(ii) Identification and biological characterization of antibacterial agents

  • Discovery and design of novel antibacterial agents
  • Biological characterization of both novel and established antibacterial agents
  • Development of novel tools and approaches to elucidate antibiotic mode of action
Alex O'Neill Faculty of Biological Sciences



Post-doctoral appointments

Posts for which funding has already been secured (where available) will be advertised on

Those wishing to apply for a Fellowship to join the O’Neill lab are encouraged to get in touch to discuss possibilities. A non-exhaustive list of organizations that offer Fellowships in biological sciences is provided below;

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


  • BSc Hons Microbiology (1997, Bristol)
  • PhD (2001, Leeds)

Student education

Postgraduate studentship areas:


See also:

Academic roles:

  • Assessment Lead for PGT Programmes - PGT MCB programmes
  • Assessment Lead for UG Programmes - UG MCB programmes


  • Member of Undergraduate School Taught Student Education Committee
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//">Clinical Gastroenterology: Investigation of Fidaxomicin Resistance Mechanisms in Clostridium difficile </a></li> <li><a href="//">Delineating the antimicrobial resistome of Clostridioides difficile</a></li>