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Prof Darren Smith

Professor

Department: Applied Sciences

Darren Smith is a Professor of 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 at 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 worked as a postdoctoral research associate with Professor Andrew Owen’s, University of Liverpool HIV pharmacology group in collaboration with Professor Steve Rannard focussing the impact of nanoformulation on highly active antiretroviral therapy drugs used in the treatment of HIV infection.   These studies included drug delivery, cellular accumulation and transcellular gut permeability  models.

Darren Smith

Professor 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. 

Professor Smith is the academic lead and director for the DNA sequencing research facility at Northumbria University, NU-OMICS. This is an outfacing service that is linked to both academic and industrially linked DNA sequencing projects.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Factors affecting turnaround time of SARS-CoV-2 sequencing for inpatient infection prevention and control decision making: analysis of data from the COG-UK HOCI study, Colton, H., Parker, M., Stirrup, O., Blackstone, J., Loose, M., McClure, C., Roy, S., Williams, C., McLeod, J., Smith, D., Taha, Y., Zhang, P., Hsu, S., Kele, B., Harris, K., Mapp, F., Williams, R., Flowers, P., Breuer, J., Partridge, D., de Silva, T., Bashton, M., Crown, M. 1 Jan 2023, In: Journal of Hospital Infection
  • Multiple pathways of SARS-CoV-2 nosocomial transmission uncovered by integrated genomic and epidemiological analyses during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, Cook, K., Beckett, A., Glaysher, S., Goudarzi, S., Fearn, C., Loveson, K., Elliott, S., Wyllie, S., Lloyd, A., Bicknell, K., Lumley, S., Chauhan, A., Robson, S., Smith, D., Bashton, M., Young, G., McCann, C., Nelson, A., Crown, M., Henderson, J., Hollis, A., Stanley, W., Yew, W. 20 Jan 2023, In: Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology
  • SARS-CoV-2 variant evasion of monoclonal antibodies based on in vitro studies, Cox, M., Peacock, T., Harvey, W., Hughes, J., Wright, D., Willett, B., Thomson, E., Gupta, R., Peacock, S., Robertson, D., Carabelli, A., Smith, D., Bashton, M., Young, G., McCann, C., Nelson, A., Crown, M., Henderson, J., Hollis, A., Stanley, W., Yew, W. 1 Feb 2023, In: Nature Reviews Microbiology
  • Assessment of mortality and hospital admissions associated with confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2 Alpha variant: a matched cohort and time-to-event analysis, England, October to December 2020, Dabrera, G., Allen, H., Zaidi, A., Flannagan, J., Twohig, K., Thelwall, S., Marchant, E., Aziz, N., Lamagni, T., Myers, R., Charlett, A., Capelastegui, F., Chudasama, D., Clare, T., Coukan, F., Sinnathamby, M., Ferguson, N., Hopkins, S., Chand, M., Hope, R., Kall, M., Bashton, M., Smith, D., Nelson, A., Young, G., McCann, C. 19 May 2022, In: Eurosurveillance
  • City-wide wastewater genomic surveillance through the successive emergence of SARS-CoV-2 Alpha and Delta variants, Brunner, F., Brown, M., Bassano, I., Denise, H., Khalifa, M., Wade, M., van Aerle, R., Kevill, J., Jones, D., Farkas, K., Jeffries, A., Cairns, E., Wierzbicki, C., Paterson, S., Bashton, M., Smith, D., Nelson, A., Young, G., McCann, C. 1 Nov 2022, In: Water Research
  • 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
  • Comparative analysis of the risks of hospitalisation and death associated with SARS-CoV-2 omicron (B.1.1.529) and delta (B.1.617.2) variants in England: a cohort study, Nyberg, T., Ferguson, N., Nash, S., Webster, H., Flaxman, S., Andrews, N., Hinsley, W., Bernal, J., Kall, M., Bhatt, S., Blomquist, P., Zaidi, A., Volz, E., Aziz, N., Harman, K., Funk, S., Abbott, S., Lopez Bernal, J., Abdul Aziz, N., Hope, R., Charlett, A., Chand, M., Ghani, A., Seaman, S., Dabrera, G., De Angelis, D., Presanis, A., Thelwall, S., Bashton, M., Smith, D., Nelson, A., Young, G., McCann, C. 2 Apr 2022, In: The Lancet
  • Context-specific emergence and growth of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, McCrone, J., Hill, V., Bajaj, S., Pena, R., Lambert, B., Inward, R., Bhatt, S., Volz, E., Ruis, C., Dellicour, S., Baele, G., Zarebski, A., Sadilek, A., Wu, N., Schneider, A., Ji, X., Raghwani, J., Jackson, B., Colquhoun, R., O'Toole, Á., Peacock, T., Twohig, K., Thelwall, S., Dabrera, G., Myers, R., Faria, N., Huber, C., Bogoch, I., Khan, K., du Plessis, L., Barrett, J., Aanensen, D., Barclay, W., Chand, M., Connor, T., Loman, N., Suchard, M., Pybus, O., Rambaut, A., Kraemer, M., Bashton, M., Smith, D., Nelson, A., Young, G., McCann, C. 6 Oct 2022, In: Nature
  • COVID-19 due to the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant compared to B.1.1.7 (Alpha) variant of SARS-CoV-2: a prospective observational cohort study, Kläser, K., Molteni, E., Graham, M., Canas, L., Österdahl, M., Antonelli, M., Chen, L., Deng, J., Murray, B., Kerfoot, E., Wolf, J., May, A., Fox, B., Capdevila, J., Aanensen, D., Abudahab, K., Adams, H., Adams, A., Afifi, S., Aggarwal, D., Ahmad, S., Aigrain, L., Alcolea-Medina, A., Alikhan, N., Allara, E., Amato, R., Angyal, A., Annett, T., Aplin, S., Ariani, C., Asad, H., Ash, A., Ashfield, P., Ashford, F., Atkinson, L., Attwood, S., Auckland, C., Aydin, A., Baker, D., Baker, P., Bashton, M., Crown, M., Hartley, J., Henderson, J., Jones, H., McCann, C., Nelson, A., Smith, D., Yew, W., Young, G., Hollis, A., Stanley, W. 1 Dec 2022, In: Scientific Reports
  • Descriptive comparison of admission characteristics between pandemic waves and multivariable analysis of the association of the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7 lineage) of SARS-CoV-2 with disease severity in inner London, Snell, L., Wang, W., Alcolea-Medina, A., Charalampous, T., Batra, R., De Jongh, L., Higgins, F., Nebbia, G., Wang, Y., Edgeworth, J., Curcin, V., Bashton, M., Smith, D., Crown, M. 8 Feb 2022, In: BMJ Open

  • Jennifer Le-Anne Coulson Longitudinal carriage of temperate phages of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and their role in the chronically infected non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis lungs. Start Date: 01/10/2022
  • Rui Nunes Dos Santos Isolation and classification of bacteriophages purified from maternal breast milk and determination of their role in bacterial community development. Start Date: 01/10/2022
  • Mariklairi Kiourkou Characterising the role and evolution of temperate bacteriophages in chronic respiratory infections of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients using their first isolate. Start Date: 01/10/2022
  • Theodora Tanou Dissecting the role of bacteriophages on bacterial community design and function in the human preterm infant gut. Start Date: 01/10/2022
  • Onengiye Ogbanga Forensic Applications of the Microbiome for Post-mortem Interval Estimations and Human Profiling Start Date: 30/06/2022
  • 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

  • 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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