Dr Modupe O. Ajayi


I obtained my first degree in Biochemistry (First class) from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Nigeria in 2007. I joined the University of Leeds in 2010 and completed an MSc in Bioscience (Biotechnology) in  2011 then proceeded for my PhD in molecular biology in 2013.

I completed my PhD on “Isolation of Affimers against biomarkers of Clostridium difficile infection for use as diagnostic tools” in 2017 under the supervision of Prof Mike McPherson and Dr. Darren Tomlinson. My research project involved the identification of highly sensitive and specific Affimers against  Clostridium difficile infection biomarkers (Toxin A, Toxin B, and Glutamate dehydrogenase) from the Affimer phage library. I developed a Toxin B hybrid assay with higher sensitivity and specificity when compared to current commercially available ELISA kit. My results were included as preliminary data for the Medical Research Council Antimicrobial resistance (MRC AMR) grant application – “Accelerating development of infectious diagnostics for patient management and reduction of antibiotic misuse” – which was awarded.

Shortly before the submission of my thesis in 2017, I got my first Postdoctoral position within my research group for the Department of Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) project, which focused on developing Affimer-based diagnostic reagents against pathogen biomarkers. In 2018, I was appointed a Research Fellow on the MRC AMR project.

Research interests

  • Clostridium difficile infection diagnostics
  • Affimer technology
  • Antimicrobial resistance

The Medical Research Council AMR project at the University of Leeds brings together twelve researchers from the faculties of Engineering, Biological Sciences and Medicine and Health. This highly interdisciplinary team will develop a new tool that can be used by doctors to detect the presence of a bacterial or viral infection quickly before antibiotics are prescribed. The test will be able to identify which bacterial strain has caused the infection, as different strains require different treatments, and whether the particular type is commonly resistant to antibiotics. Professor Christoph Wälti, who leads the project at the University of Leeds, said: “This tool will allow for a much more targeted use of antibiotics, reducing the number of prescriptions and increasing efficacy for patients, and will contribute significantly to tackle the ever-increasing problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).”
My role on the project involves the screening, selection and characterisation of high affinity Affimer reagents that could specifically differentiate biomarkers of bacterial and viral infection.

Futhermore, I have got interest in teaching so I currently lead some tutorials for BIOL2301/03/05/3400/MICR2320 module - Intermediate Skills - BIOL/MICR/Cell Biology of Human Disease.

<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>


  • PhD, University of Leeds
  • MSc, University of Leeds
  • BSc, AAUA, Nigeria

Professional memberships

  • Biochemical Society
  • European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
  • Astbury Society