Dr Andrew Truman

Project Leader
Molecular Microbiology

Andy works on natural product biosynthesis in bacteria with a particular interest in ribosomally-synthesised peptides.

Bacteria are capable of converting simple linear peptide chains into complex chemicals in relatively few biosynthetic steps.

Andy’s research involves the use of techniques such as mass spectral networking to discover related groups of molecules and to understand how these are made.

This research explores the biochemical pathways involved and the potential role of these compounds in biology and for exploitation in medicine and agriculture. 

  • Peptide modification in bacteria to make novel compounds
  • Mass spectral networking to identify new compounds
  • The role of new compounds for exploitation, e.g. in disease suppression in plants and for the treatment of human disease


Andy's group research focus is on understanding how structurally complex natural products are constructed by soil-dwelling bacteria. 

Genetic, biochemical and chemical techniques are used to determine how molecules with unusual structures are biosynthesised, and we are developing methods to reprogram pathways to produce novel natural product-like molecules. A vast array of medicines are produced by soil-dwelling bacteria, and the discovery of new pathways will support the development of future drugs.
They are examining a variety of natural products, including non-ribosomal peptides like vancomycin, which is a drug of last resort to treat methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections, and ribosomally synthesised and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs), such as bottromycin. This is a clinically promising and structurally unique RiPP that is active towards multi-drug resistant bacteria, such as MRSA.

In addition, the analysis of genomic data has revealed that bacteria have an untapped potential to produce secondary metabolites, and key pathways are being investigated.

Royal Society university research fellow starts at JIC

read more

Recent Publications

Eyles T. H., Vior N. M., Truman A. W. (2018)

Rapid and robust yeast-mediated pathway refactoring generates multiple new bottromycin-related metabolites.

ACS Synthetic Biology

Publisher’s version: 10.1021/acssynbio.8b00038

Vior N. M., Lacret R., Chandra G., Dorai-Raj S., Trick M., Truman A. W. (2018)

Discovery and biosynthesis of the antibiotic bicyclomycin in distant bacterial classes.

Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Publisher’s version: 10.1128/AEM.02828-17

Leipoldt F., Santos-Aberturas J., Stegmann D. P., Wolf F., Kulik A., Lacret R., Popadic D., Keinhörster D., Kirchner N., Bekiesch P., Gross H., Truman A., Kaysser L. (2017)

Warhead biosynthesis and the origin of structural diversity in hydroxamate metalloproteinase inhibitors.

Nature Communications 8 p1965

Publisher’s version: 10.1038/s41467-017-01975-6

Franz L., Adam S., Santos-Aberturas J., Truman A., Koehnke J. (2017)

Macroamidine Formation in Bottromycins Is Catalyzed by a Divergent YcaO Enzyme.

Journal of the American Chemical Society 139 p1815818161

Publisher’s version: 10.1021/jacs.7b09898

Frattaruolo L., Lacret R., Cappello A. R., Truman A. W. (2017)

A Genomics-Based Approach Identifies a Thioviridamide-Like Compound with Selective Anticancer Activity.

ACS Chemical Biology 12 p28152822

Publisher’s version: 10.1021/acschembio.7b00677

View All

Andrew Truman

  • Dr Natalia Miguel-Vior Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Tom Eyles Postgraduate Student
  • Dr Javier Santos Aberturas Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Luca Frattaruolo Postgraduate Student
  • Dr David Widdick Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Alaster Moffat Postgraduate Student
  • Alicia Russell Postgraduate Student
  • Dr Rodney Lacret-Pimienta Postdoctoral Scientist


For media enquiries, contact the John Innes Centre communications team; 01603 450962, jic.communications@jic.ac.uk

JIC Cookie Policy. We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience. By clicking any link on this page you are giving your consent for us to set cookies. You can find out more about the cookies by clicking here.

Accept cookies