Judith Armitage is both a molecular and cellular biochemist and a systems biologist. In her research, Judith combines approaches from biophysics, light microscopy and molecular genetics to produce findings that have fundamentally changed our understanding of the movement and behaviour of bacteria.
She is primarily interested in the way in which bacteria ‘swim’ through the use of a rotary motor controlling their tail, or flagellum. Judith has shown that this motor is a dynamic protein complex, influenced by its chemical and physical environment. The proteins of the motor swap in and out to control the speed of the motor in response to the viscosity of the medium they are swimming in.
Judith was first to show that some bacterial species have multiple communication pathways to control movement and this has now proved to be the case in most species. She is now applying her research to develop predictive models of sensory signalling networks in bacteria. Judith is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and of the Society of Biology.
President, Microbiology Society
Interest and expertise
Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology
General microbiology (incl bacteriology and virology)
Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
Biochemistry and molecular biology, Biophysics and structural biology, Cell biology (incl molecular cell biology), Molecular microbiology