Associate Professor

Tim did his undergraduate degrees and PhD at Cambridge University, supervised by Prof George Salmond, winning the Sir Howard Dalton Young Microbiologist of the Year Award in 2009 (Microbiology Society) and the Nat L. Sternberg Thesis Prize in 2011 (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, Phage Meeting). He then obtained an EMBO Long-Term Fellowship to join Prof James Berger's lab at the University of California-Berkeley before moving across to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Arriving at Durham University in 2015, Tim won a Springboard Award in 2017 (Academy of Medical Sciences) and a Lister Institute Prize Fellowship in 2019 (Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine). He was made an Associate Professor in 2019.


Post-doctoral Research Assistant

Abbie finished her PhD at Newcastle University in January 2020. During her PhD, Abbie used a combination of microbiology and biochemistry to characterise various proteins involved in peptidoglycan remodelling during C. difficile sporulation. Now at Durham, Abbie is investigating the BREX system of bacteriophage-resistance (apocalypse permitting).


PhD Student

David is a final year PhD student funded by the BBSRC Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham Doctoral Training Partnership. His work primarily focuses on bacterial defence systems against viral infection. He completed his BSc and MPhil at Newcastle University where he studied the role of flagellin in uropathogenic E. coli pathogenicity. David has also worked extensively with the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences investigating biogeochemical cycling in the Atlantic Ocean. He believes his greatest scientific talent lies in being able to carry 80 agar plates at a time.


PhD Student

Ben's project looks at toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems from Mycobacterium tuberculosis and their impact on bacterial growth. Prior to Durham, Ben completed his undergrad at Brunel University studying Biomedical Sciences, with a stint working in a Drosophila genetics and development lab at the Università degli Studi di Palermo in Sicily as part of the Erasmus scheme. This was followed by an MScR in Infectious Diseases at Edinburgh University characterising intrinsic mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Ben's broad interests revolve around employing a range of methods to explore microbial growth dynamics and host-pathogen interactions in the context of AMR. Also baking, diving, cats, and rugby.


PhD Student

Izaak is a PhD student funded by the BBSRC Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham Doctoral Training Partnership having previously completed his postgraduate MSc by Research in the Blower lab in 2018. Co-supervised by Dr Jon Marles-Wight in Newcastle, Izaak’s PhD project focusses on the structural biology and biochemistry of the interactions between toxin-antitoxin systems and their targets. Izaak is using X-ray crystallography, cryo-EM (fingers crossed), and a range of biochemical and biophysical techniques to better understand how these proteinaceous toxins function.


PhD Student

Sam is a MoSMed funded PhD student. He graduated in Biotechnology at Northumbria University and then completed an MSc in Industrial and Commercial Biotechnology at Newcastle University, where he was part of the 2018 Newcastle team which took part in the international IGEM competition in Boston, USA. He then took up a research position in industry at CPI working on cell-free expression systems before joining the Blower lab to study the BREX bacteriophage-resistance system. Having come from industry, Sam is currently getting used to not being able to spend loads of money on whatever equipment he needs.



Tanya Horne (2020-) Hall Lab, Liverpool University

Elise Ling (2018-) Austin Lab, Newcastle University

Rebecca Bennett (2018-) Baker Lab, Liverpool University



Anna Bailey - MBiol student (2019-20)

Shannon Richardson - NatSci student (2019-20)

Alex Cook - NatSci Student (2019-20)

Arran Hinch-Sisley - BSc student (2019-20)

Soufiane Taleb - MBiol student (2018-19)

Jonny Burnett - NatSci student (2018-19)

Katie Lister - BSc student (2018-19)

Josh Harling-Lee - MBiol student (2017-18)

Alex Kingdon - NatSci student (2017-18)

Charlotte Alton - BSc student (2017-18)

Ryan Herdman-Grant - BSc student (2017-18)

Lucy Henderson - Summer student (2017-18)

Julia Carleton - Summer student (2017)

Jacob Dykes - MBiol student (2016-17)

Sophie Forster - BSc student (2016-17)

George Aldridge - BSc student (2016-17)

Giorgio Bowler - BSc student (2015-16)


Blower Lab

©2020 by Tim Blower