Dr Jonathan Betts
Academic and research departmentsSchool of Veterinary Medicine.
Jonathan completed an MSc in Biomedical Science at the University of Hull in 2007. From there he was awarded an EPSRC CASE (Unilever PLC) PhD studentship in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Hull, under the supervision of Prof Stephen Haswell and Prof Stephen Kelly. The project involved the microfluidic synthesis of deuterium labelled theaflavin and the antimicrobial activity of polyphenols. Upon completing his PhD, Jonathan undertook a fixed term Postdoctoral position with Prof Stephen Kelly to investigate the novel synthesis and antibacterial activity of metal nanoparticles.
In December 2012 he began a Postdoctoral appointment with Dr David Wareham in the Centre for Immunobiology at Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL). Over the next 3 years at QMUL, Jonathan conducted various research projects investigating the in vitro and in vivo activity of novel antimicrobials and antibiotic combinations against multidrug-resistant bacteria. He was also involved with several projects investigating the virulence of Gram-negative bacteria in the Galleria mellonella model. During this period Jonathan continued to collaborate with the University of Hull and also worked with other research groups at the University of Oxford, UCL, Pfizer and Merck.
In October 2015, Jonathan became Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Surrey on a BBSRC funded project with Prof Roberto La Ragione, to study the antibacterial activity and cytotoxicity of carbon monoxide releasing molecules (CORMs) against avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC), Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, in collaboration with Prof Robert Poole and his group at the University of Sheffield.
Antimicrobial resistance is a critical global issue and infections resulting from multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacterial strains have become more frequent, leading to longer hospital stays, an increased financial burden to health services and higher rates of morbidity and mortality. This has been compounded by a marked decline in antibiotic development over the past 40 years, and some infections are now untreatable with conventional drugs. By increasing the resources for research into new drug development, improved diagnostics, and educating both clinicians and the public on how to more appropriately use these 'magic bullets', it may be possible to avoid a 'post antibiotic era'.
Jonathan's research interests include the mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance in Gram-negative bacteria and the development of novel antimicrobial chemotherapies. He also has a particular interest in alternatives to traditional antibiotics, including metal nanoparticles and natural compounds such as polyphenols, and their development for clinical use in humans and animals. Other interests also include bacterial virulence and infection control.
Jonathan has previously delivered lectures at the University of Hull on Infection Control, for third year Undergraduate/MSc students and on Nosocomial Infections for second year BSc students at Queen Mary University of London. Jonathan has also been involved in the teaching of Medical Microbiology and Analytical Chemistry laboratory practicals at the University of Hull and more recently at the University of Surrey.
Alongside Jonathan's personal research activities, he is involved in the design and supervision of BSc and MSc projects and the supervision of PhD students. Jonathan is also involved in the day to day management of the bacteriology laboratories at the Veterinary Medicine main academic building.
Member of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) Member of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) Member of the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) Champion for Antibiotic Action
Peer Reviewer for: RSC advances, Green Chemistry, Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Nutrition, Journal of Microbiology and Biochemistry, FEMS Microbiology and the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents. Review editor for Frontiers in Microbiology.