Prof Mervyn Bibb

Project Leader
Molecular Microbiology

The acquisition of antibiotic resistance, and frequently of multi-drug resistance, by a broad range of bacterial pathogens has led to an urgent need for new clinically useful antibiotics. Mervyn Bibb’s research focuses on understanding antibiotic production and its regulation in actinomycetes, the major source of clinically useful antibiotics. The resulting knowledge is used not only to understand how these complex molecules are made, but also to engineer the producing organisms using synthetic biology to make potentially improved derivatives.  Genome sequencing has revealed that actinomycetes have the potential to produce many more natural products than previously thought, many of which are likely to possess anti-microbial activity; work in his group also focuses on the activation of these silent biosynthetic gene clusters, which has led to the discovery of novel compounds with anti-bacterial activity. Work in his group led to the formation of two JIC spin-out companies, Novacta Biosystems and Procarta Biosystems, of which he is co-founder.

Ants and antibiotics

read more

New way to improve antibiotic production

read more

JIC research describes new techniques to study protein-DNA interactions

read more

Q&A with Professor Mervyn Bibb

read more

Recent Publications

Fernandez-Martinez L. T., Bibb M. J. (2014)

Use of the Meganuclease I-SceI of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to select for gene deletions in actinomycetes.

Scientific Reports 4 p7100

Publisher’s version: 10.1038/srep07100

Fernandez-Martinez L. T., Borsetto C., Gomez-Escribano J. P., Bibb M. J., Al-Bassam M. M., Chandra G., Bibb M. J. (2014)

New insights into chloramphenicol biosynthesis in Streptomyces venezuelae ATCC 10712

Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 58 p04272-14

Publisher’s version: 10.1128/AAC.04272-14

Gomez-Escribano J. P., Bibb M. J. (2014)

Heterologous expression of natural product biosynthetic gene clusters in Streptomyces coelicolor: from genome mining to manipulation of biosynthetic pathways.

Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology 41 (2) p425-31

Publisher’s version: 10.1007/s10295-013-1348-5

Bibb M. J. (2013)

Understanding and manipulating antibiotic production in actinomycetes.

Biochemical Society Transactions 41 (6) p1355-64

Publisher’s version: 10.1042/BST20130214

Jones A. C., Gust B., Kulik A., Heide L., Buttner M. J., Bibb M. J. (2013)

Phage P1-derived artificial chromosomes facilitate heterologous expression of the FK506 gene cluster

PLoS One (7)

View All

Mervyn Bibb

  • Dr Govind Chandra Senior Scientist
  • Dr Juan-Pablo Gomez-Escribano Research Assistant
  • Dr Neil Holmes Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Dr David Widdick Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Anyarat Thanapipatsiri Postgraduate Student


Fellow of the Royal Society, 2013

Heatley Medal and Prize, 2013


For media enquiries, please contact the JIC communications team 01603 450962,

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