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Prof Darren Smith

Professor

Department: Applied Sciences

Dr Smith is an Associate Professor in Bacteriophage Biology within the Department of Applied Biology, Cellular and Molecular Sciences/Microbiology Group. He graduated from the University of Liverpool with a BSc in Microbiology in 2000. After a 1.5 years working for Applied Biosystems he spent the following 7.5 years completing both a PhD (2005) and Post-Doctoral research in the laboratory of Alan McCarthy, Heather Allison and Jon Saunders studying the biology of Shiga toxin encoding bacteriophages.

 Prior to joining Northumbria University, Dr Smith completed his postdoctoral research in Professor Andrew Owen’s group, Liverpool HIV pharmacology group, University of Liverpool, in collaboration with Professor Steve Rannard’s group studying the impact of nanoformulation on highly active antiretroviral therapy drugs used in the treatment of HIV infection.   These studies have included drug delivery, cellular accumulation and transcellular permeability models.

Darren Smith

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Dr Smith’s research interests relate to how bacteriophages alter bacterial physiology, phenotype and bacterial community structure through chromosomal integration, subversion of cell function, or during active infection and cell lysis.  His group uses lab, multi-omic and bioinformatics based approaches to determine the physiological impact of lysogeny or lytic infection on the host bacterium and the surrounding microbiota in clinical and environmental settings.  His groups research aims are to offer an insight into the modulation of microbial communities and how phages play a role in bacterial/community selection and evolution.

All research is heavily linked to genomics, metagenomics, transcriptomics and linked to a range of techniques including; molecular, protein, bioinformatics, microbiological and virological based techniques to study; virus-host interactions; phage genomics; identification of phage encoded genes that provide positive selection for the infected bacterial host and seasonal epidemiology versus virus genotype. 

Dr Smith is the academic lead for the DNA sequencing research facility at Northumbria University, NU-OMICS that is linked to both academic and industrially linked DNA sequencing projects.

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Combined epidemiological and genomic analysis of nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infection early in the pandemic and the role of unidentified cases in transmission, Snell, L., Fisher, C., Taj, U., Stirrup, O., Merrick, B., Alcolea-Medina, A., Charalampous, T., Signell, A., Wilson, H., Betancor, G., Kia Ik, M., Cunningham, E., Cliff, P., Pickering, S., Galao, R., Batra, R., Neil, S., Malim, M., Doores, K., Douthwaite, S., Nebbia, G., Edgeworth, J., Awan, A., Bashton, M., Nelson, A., McCann, C., Young, G., Smith, D. 1 Jan 2022, In: Clinical Microbiology and Infection
  • Evolution of viral variants in remdesivir‐treated and untreated SARS‐CoV‐2‐infected pediatrics patients, Boshier, F., Pang, J., Penner, J., Parker, M., Alders, N., Bamford, A., Grandjean, L., Grunewald, S., Hatcher, J., Best, T., Dalton, C., Bynoe, P., Frauenfelder, C., Köeglmeier, J., Myerson, P., Roy, S., Williams, R., Silva, T., Goldstein, R., Breuer, J., Allan, J., Bashton, M., Loh, J., Nelson, A., Smith, D., Yew, W., Young, G. 1 Jan 2022, In: Journal of Medical Virology
  • Genomic assessment of quarantine measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 importation and transmission, Aggarwal, D., Page, A., Schaefer, U., Savva, G., Myers, R., Volz, E., Ellaby, N., Platt, S., Groves, N., Gallagher, E., Tumelty, N., Le Viet, T., Hughes, G., Chen, C., Turner, C., Logan, S., Harrison, A., Peacock, S., Chand, M., Harrison, E., Smith, D., Bashton, M., Young, G., Nelson, A., McCann, C., Yew, W. 23 Feb 2022, In: Nature Communications
  • Genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in a UK university identifies dynamics of transmission, Aggarwal, D., Warne, B., Jahun, A., Hamilton, W., Fieldman, T., du Plessis, L., Hill, V., Blane, B., Watkins, E., Wright, E., Hall, G., Ludden, C., Myers, R., Hosmillo, M., Chaudhry, Y., Pinckert, M., Georgana, I., Izuagbe, R., Leek, D., Nsonwu, O., Hughes, G., Packer, S., Page, A., Metaxaki, M., Fuller, S., Weale, G., Holgate, J., Brown, C., Howes, R., McFarlane, D., Dougan, G., Pybus, O., Angelis, D., Maxwell, P., Peacock, S., Weekes, M., Illingworth, C., Harrison, E., Matheson, N., Goodfellow, I., Bashton, M., Smith, D., Young, G., McCann, C., Nelson, A., Yew, W., Jones, H. 8 Feb 2022, In: Nature Communications
  • Hospital admission and emergency care attendance risk for SARS-CoV-2 delta (B.1.617.2) compared with alpha (B.1.1.7) variants of concern: a cohort study, Twohig, K., Nyberg, T., Zaidi, A., Thelwall, S., Sinnathamby, M., Aliabadi, S., Seaman, S., Harris, R., Hope, R., Lopez-bernal, J., Gallagher, E., Charlett, A., Angelis, D., Presanis, A., Dabrera, G., Koshy, C., Ash, A., Wise, E., Moore, N., Mori, M., Cortes, N., Lynch, J., Kidd, S., Fairley, D., Curran, T., Mckenna, J., Adams, H., Fraser, C., Golubchik, T., Bonsall, D., Hassan-ibrahim, M., Malone, C., Cogger, B., Wantoch, M., Reynolds, N., Warne, B., Maksimovic, J., Spellman, K., Mccluggage, K., John, M., Beer, R., Afifi, S., Morgan, S., Marchbank, A., Smith, D., Bashton, M., Young, G., Nelson, A., McCann, C., Yew, W. 1 Jan 2022, In: The Lancet Infectious Diseases
  • Optimisation and application of a novel method to identify bacteriophage in maternal milk and infant stool identifies host-phage communities within preterm infant gut, Young, G., Yew, W., Nelson, A., Bridge, S., Berrington, J., Embleton, N., Smith, D. 26 Apr 2022, In: Frontiers in Pediatrics
  • The Impact of Real-Time Whole-Genome Sequencing in Controlling Healthcare-Associated SARS-CoV-2 Outbreaks, Francis, R., Billam, H., Clarke, M., Yates, C., Tsoleridis, T., Berry, L., Mahida, N., Irving, W., Moore, C., Holmes, N., Ball, J., Loose, M., McClure, C., Bashton, M., Smith, D., Young, G., McCann, C., Nelson, A. 1 Jan 2022, In: The Journal of Infectious Diseases
  • The role of viral genomics in understanding COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities, Aggarwal, D., Myers, R., Hamilton, W., Bharucha, T., Tumelty, N., Brown, C., Meader, E., Connor, T., Smith, D., Bradley, D., Robson, S., Bashton, M., Shallcross, L., Zambon, M., Goodfellow, I., Chand, M., O'Grady, J., Török, M., Peacock, S., Page, A., Allan, J., Loh, J., Nelson, A., Yew, W., Young, G. 1 Feb 2022, In: The Lancet Microbe
  • Assessing transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 in England, Volz, E., Mishra, S., Chand, M., Barrett, J., Johnson, R., Geidelberg, L., Hinsley, W., Laydon, D., Dabrera, G., O’Toole, Á., Amato, R., Ragonnet-Cronin, M., Harrison, I., Jackson, B., Ariani, C., Boyd, O., Loman, N., McCrone, J., Gonçalves, S., Jorgensen, D., Myers, R., Hill, V., Jackson, D., Gaythorpe, K., Groves, N., Sillitoe, J., Kwiatkowski, D., Koshy, C., Ash, A., Wise, E., Moore, N., Mori, M., Cortes, N., Lynch, J., Kidd, S., Fairley, D., Curran, T., McKenna, J., Adams, H., Fraser, C., Smith, D., Bashton, M., Young, G., Nelson, A., McCann, C., Yew, W., Williams, C., Jones, H., Hartley, J., Flaxman, S., Ratmann, O., Bhatt, S., Hopkins, S., Gandy, A., Rambaut, A., Ferguson, N. 13 May 2021, In: Nature

PGR Supervision

  • Liberty Duignan The Temperate Bacteriophages of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Their Role in Chronic Lung Infection Start Date: 01/10/2016 End Date: 21/01/2022
  • Giles Holt Characterising the impact on bacterial physiology of phage infection and phage as a tool to support microbiota studies Start Date: 01/11/2013 End Date: 07/03/2019
  • Francesca Everest Characterising the Role and Evolution of Temperate Bacteriophages in Chronic Respiratory Infections Including Cystic Fibrosis and Bronchiectasis Start Date: 01/10/2012 End Date: 03/10/2016
  • Mohammad Tariq Characterising Temperate Bacteriophages Isolated from the Microbiota of Chronic Respiratory Disease Start Date: 01/10/2012 End Date: 20/04/2017
  • Saif Abraham Proposal for research into the role of bacteriophages in Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in chronic respiratory disease Start Date: 01/10/2020 End Date: 23/06/2021

Qualifications

  • Microbiology PhD June 30 2005
  • Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2014
  • Information not provided Society for General Microbiology (SGM) 2011


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