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Fellows Directory

David Holden

Professor David Holden FMedSci FRS


Elected: 2004


David Holden is a microbiologist who is distinguished for his studies on how bacteria cause disease in animals. He is best known for inventing a technique called signature-tagged mutagenesis (STM; also termed ‘barcoding’) for identification of mutants with altered growth in mixed populations.

Using STM, his group has identified numerous genes of Streptococcus and Salmonella that are required for these pathogens to cause disease. His research is now focused on understanding the functions of Salmonella proteins that are injected into host cells and which enable bacterial replication and immune evasion.

Holden is currently Director of the MRC Centre for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection at Imperial College London. He has published over 120 scientific papers in his field and cofounded a vaccine company that was subsequently acquired by Emergent Biosolutions.

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Bacterial genetics, Bacterial pathogens, Cell biology