Position: Professor of Molecular Microbiology
Professor Dyson leads the internationally recognized group with specific expertise in the molecular microbiology of actinomycetes, especially antibiotic-producing Streptomyces. Paul has made critical contributions in a number of areas including: developing a technology for creating gene knockouts based on in vitro transposon mutagenesis (US Patent No. 2004/0096974, Bishop et al 2004, Fernandez et al 2011); defining the function of as yet the only known actinomycete cell division inhibitor protein CrgA (Del Sol et al 2003, 2006); establishing the function of key cell division proteins (Mistry et al 2008); applying atomic force microscopy to monitor dynamic changes to the cell surface during growth and division (Del Sol et al 2007); functional analysis of osmotic regulation in Streptomyces (Bishop et al, 2004; Fernandez-Martinez et al, 2009); characterisation of streptomycete nucleoid-associated proteins (Facey et al 2010, 2011). These areas of research have been supported by BBSRC.
In addition, PD coordinated a very successful FP6 Integrated Project, Actinogen, involving 18 other groups, focussing on applying genomic approaches to discovery and overproduction of new antibiotics in Streptomyces. A recent focus has been to exploit symbiotic bacteria to mediate RNAi in insect vectors of human disease, a technology that is currently being patented. Another recent development is functionalisation and applications of paramagnetic protein nanocages. PD has successfully contributed to several multi-disciplinary projects in Swansea including soil microbial community analysis in relation to application of novel biological control agents against horticulture pests, microbial community analysis in wetlands treating saline aquaculture waste, investigating the aetiology of a novel crab disease, and mode of action studies of novel antimicrobial peptides produced by invertebrates. PD is a leader of the Novel Therapies Research Development Group, funded by the Welsh National Institute for Social Care and Health Research.