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Fellows Directory

Mark Achtman

Professor Mark Achtman FRS

Fellow


Elected: 2015

Biography

Since 1965, Achtman has founded four highly distinct areas of bacterial genetics: 1) bacterial conjugation involving the Escherichia coli F sex factor (1965-78), 2) E. coli neonatal meningitis (1979-86), 3) epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitis (1983-2000). Since 1998 he has dedicated himself to the population genetics and genomics of bacterial pathogens. In each area he made seminal discoveries, resulting in global recognition, and is one of the globally most prominent bacterial population geneticists. In recent years, he was one of three co-inventors of multilocus sequence typing and has been at the forefront of comparative population genomics. He elucidated the historical associations of Helicobacter pylori with ancient human migrations, ancient global routes of transmission of historical plague, and has introduced dramatic changes to the practice of epidemiological typing of Salmonella enterica. He plays a leading role in large, international networks of microbiologists, and interacts extensively with theoreticians, historians and anthropologists. 

Honours: main prize of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Hygiene und Mikrobiologie, 2004; foreign member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters, 2014.

 

Professional positions

Professor of Bacterial Population Genetics, Department of Microbiology and Infection, University of Warwick

Interests and expertise

Subject groups

Keywords

Comparative genomics, Evolutionary history, Microbial population genetics, Population structure of pathogenic bacteria