Jeff Errington is a bacterial cell biologist who mapped the regulatory pathways that control asymmetric cell division in the spore-forming Bacillus subtilis. His discoveries have implications for the control of cell division and cell shape across the living world, and have revealed potential targets for new classes of antibiotics.
Using high-resolution fluorescence imaging, Jeff discovered that a molecule similar to actin, previously thought to be exclusive to more complex organisms, organises the structure of the bacterial cell wall. He went on to develop a bacterium without cell walls that reproduces without the normal cell division mechanisms, raising intriguing questions about the earliest forms of life and the concept of a ‘minimal cell’.
Jeff’s work with the B. subtilis model has provided many new entry points for understanding bacterial infection and antibiotic resistance. He has launched two biotechnology companies that aim to develop new antibiotics targeted against molecules that control cell division.
Australian Laureate Fellow, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney
Interest and expertise
Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology
Genetics (excluding population genetics), General microbiology (incl bacteriology and virology)