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Fellows Directory

David Sherratt

David Sherratt

Professor David Sherratt FRS


Elected: 1992


David Sherratt is distinguished for his work to elucidate aspects of bacterial genetics that are important for conferring potency and antibiotic resistance. He has made discoveries in the inheritance and control of plasmid numbers, and revealed the molecular processes and specificity of bacterial genetic recombination.

Bacteria use genetic tools to help them survive and be virulent. This includes the possession of extrachromosomal genes in the form of circles of DNA called plasmids, and relocating fragments of DNA called transposons. David has been at the forefront of these genetic phenomena from the outset of his career, helping to inform the development of antibiotics and vaccines.

Since the mid-1990s, David has concentrated his focus on using molecular techniques to detail the organisation and replication of bacterial chromosomes in the living cell. David is a Fellow of the American Academy for Microbiology and the American Academy for the Advancement of Science. He is past President of the Genetics Society in the UK.

Professional positions

Emeritus Professor of Microbiology, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
    • Molecular microbiology
  • Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology
    • Genetics (excluding population genetics)


  • Leeuwenhoek Medal and Lecture

    On 'A bugs life'.

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