Imperial College London

Professor José R Penadés

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Director MRC Centre for Molecular Bacteriology & Infection



+44 (0)20 7594 8533j.penades Website




Mrs Anna Lee +44 (0)20 7594 2954




Flowers buildingSouth Kensington Campus




Major achievements

Phage biology

  • We have discovered the most powerful mode of transduction described to date: lateral transduction (a).
  • We have discovered a novel mechanism of phage-mediated DNA packaging, involving HNH proteins (b).
  • We have implicated for the first time the cos phages in the transfer of pathogenicity island-encoded virulence genes (c).

Pathogenicity islands

  • We have discovered and characterised the biology of a novel family of mobile genetic elements, the PICIs (phage-inducible chromosomal islands), present both in Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and have deciphered their mechanism of transfer (d, e, f, g, h)


  • We have discovered that just a single natural nucleotide mutation is sufficient to radically alter the bacterial pathogen host tropism (i).

Biofilm formation

  • We have discovered and extensively characterised BAP, a family of proteins, present both in Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, involved in biofilm formation. Our reports proposed and demonstrated that these proteins are essential components of the biofilm matrix (j).


  • We have demonstrated that the dimeric and trimeric dUTPase enzymes are signalling molecules, from phage to eukaryotes (k).
  • We have implicated dUTP as a second messenger in this novel signalling pathway (k).