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Gareth McVicker

Gareth McVicker

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Staff Group(s)


Dr Gareth McVicker is a senior lecturer and researcher in microbiology at Nottingham Trent University and is based at the Clifton Campus. Dr McVicker teaches on various modules at all degree stages, in the topics of general microbiology, microbial genetics and molecular pathogenesis. His research focuses on the maintenance and transmission of mobile genetic elements encoding virulence and resistance traits in bacteria.

Career overview

Dr McVicker obtained his PhD from the University of Kent with Dr Ian Blomfield working on regulation of virulence gene expression in E. coli. He went on to complete a postdoctoral position at the University of Sheffield with Prof Simon Foster, working on the impact of antimicrobial resistance on systemic Staphylococcus aureus infection. After this, Dr McVicker studied the mechanisms underlying differential virulence plasmid stability in Shigella with Prof Christoph Tang at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford. He has taught at Nottingham Trent University since December 2016.

Research areas

Dr McVicker’s research focusses on the contribution of toxin-antitoxin modules and other stability systems to both the vertical and horizontal transfer of mobile genetic elements within bacterial populations, using pathogenic E. coli as a model. Of particular interest are enteropathogens with unusual, diverse or poorly-characterised plasmids, such as E. coli O157:H7 and O104:H4. Dr McVicker currently supervises one PhD student and has supervised a range of MSc/MRes/MBiol students in his time at NTU.

External activity


Staying out or going in? The interplay between type 3 and type 5 secretion systems in adhesion and invasion of enterobacterial pathogens. Whelan R, McVicker G and Leo JC, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2020, 21 (11), 4102

Maintenance of the virulence plasmid in Shigella flexneri is influenced by Lon and two functional partitioning systems. McVicker G, Hollingshead S, Pilla G and Tang CM, Molecular Microbiology, 2019, 111 (5), 1355–1366

Overcoming addiction in bacteria: how to disable a deadly E. coli outbreak. McVicker G, MiSAC 50th Anniversary Article Collection, 2019

Genetic plasticity of the Shigella virulence plasmid is mediated by intra- and inter-molecular events between insertion sequences. Pilla G, McVicker G and Tang CM, PLOS Genetics, 2017, 13 (9), e1007014

Deletion of toxin-antitoxin systems in the evolution of Shigella sonnei as a host-adapted pathogen. McVicker G and Tang CM, Nature Microbiology, 2016, 2, 16204

Characterisation of Shigella Spa33 and Thermotoga FliM/N reveals a new model for C-ring assembly in T3SS. McDowell MA, Marcoux J, McVicker G, Johnson S, Fong YH, Stevens R, Bowman LAH, Degiacomi MT, Yan J, Wise A, Friede ME, Benesch JLP, Deane JE, Tand CM, Robinson CV and Lea SM, Molecular Microbiology, 2016, 99 (4), 749–766

Clonal expansion during Staphylococcus aureus infection dynamics reveals the effect of antibiotic intervention. McVicker G, Prajsnar TK, Williams A, Wagner NL, Boots M, Renshaw SA and Foster SJ, PLOS Pathogens, 2014, 10 (2)

RfaH suppresses small RNA MicA inhibition of fimB expression in Escherichia coli K-12. Moores A, Chipper-Keating S, Sun L, McVicker G, Wales L, Gashi K and Blomfield IC, Journal of Bacteriology, 2014, 196 (1), 148–156

A privileged intraphagocyte niche is responsible for disseminated infection of Staphylococcus aureus in a zebrafish model. Prajsnar TK, Hamilton R, Garcia-Lara J, McVicker G, Williams A, Boots M, Foster SJ and Renshaw SA, Cellular Microbiology, 14 (10), 1600–1619

SlyA protein activates fimB gene expression and type 1 fimbriation in Escherichia coli K-12. McVicker G, Sun L, Sohanpal BK, Gashi K, Williamson RA, Plumbridge J and Blomfield IC, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2011, 286 (37), 32026–32035

See all of Gareth McVicker's publications...

Press expertise

    • Bacterial food poisoning outbreaks, including E. coli
    • Genetic causes of the spread of antibiotic resistance
    • Bacterial genetics and how bacteria are able to cause disease

The following UN Sustainable Goals relate to Dr McVicker's work.

3 - Good Health and Well-Being Badge 4 - Quality Education Badge 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation Badge 15 - Life On Land Badge