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Lesley Hoyles


School of Science & Technology

Staff Group(s)


Professor Hoyles focuses on microbiome research. She combines microbiology and computational biology/bioinformatics approaches in vitro and in vivo to understand how members of the gut microbiota function and influence human health and disease. She has specific expertise in anaerobic microbiology, and the processing and analyses of various types of omics data (microbiomic, transcriptomic, metabolomic, genomic). Using integrated systems-level approaches, Professor Hoyles has defined the contribution of the microbiome and its metabolites to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, metabolic retroconversion and integrity of the blood–brain barrier.

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Career overview

August 2020 – present: Professor of Microbiome and Systems Biology, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
August 2018 – July 2020: Associate Professor (Reader) in Microbiology, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
August 2018 – present: Visiting Reader, Imperial College London, UK.
March 2016 – July 2018: MRC Intermediate Research Fellow in Data Science (UK Med-Bio), Imperial College London, UK.
November 2014 – February 2016: Lecturer in Microbiology, University of Westminster, UK.
October 2012 – November 2014: Postdoctoral Research Associate in Bioinformatics and Translational Systems Biology, Imperial College London, UK.
October 2011 – September 2012: Advanced MRC scholar, MSc (DIC) Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology, Imperial College London, UK.
October 2009 – September 2011: Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow in Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET scheme), University College Cork, Ireland.

Research areas

Professor Hoyles started her career at the Institute of Food Research, Reading as a taxonomist, characterizing novel fastidious Gram-positive anaerobes isolated from clinical and veterinary sources. Her GlaxoSmithKline-funded PhD, at the University of Reading in the Food Microbial Sciences Unit headed by Professor Glenn Gibson, focused on using in vitro fermentation systems to understand the effect of an anti-obesity therapy on the human gut microbiota and its lipolytic activity. She then secured a Fellowship at University College Cork to work in the bacteriophage research group of Professor Douwe van Sinderen, developing methods to improve recovery and characterization of bacteriophage populations within the human gut.

Since training as a computational biologist, Professor Hoyles has worked extensively in the field of systems biology. Most recently, she has worked on numerous animal and human studies integrating microbiomic, metabolomic and transcriptomic data to better understand how the microbiome and its metabolites influence intestinal and systemic health.

Professor Hoyles is a member of the Antimicrobial Resistance, Omics and Microbiota research group, situated within the Centre for Health, Ageing and Understanding Disease (CHAUD).

Her research interests are wide-ranging, covering:

  • Coriobacteriia associated with the gut microbiota
  • Microbial lipid metabolism
  • Shotgun metagenomics (microbiome and virome)
  • Transcriptomics (eukaryote and prokaryote)
  • Effect of gut-derived microbial metabolites on host health
  • Use of in vitro systems to study diet–microbiome interactions
  • Intestinal Klebsiella oxytoca-related bacteria and their bacteriophages

Opportunities arise to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil/PhD in the areas identified above. Further information may be obtained on the NTU Research Degrees' website Those interested in undertaking self-funded PhD studies should contact Professor Hoyles to discuss potential projects that align with her research interests.

Current projects

  • Isolation and characterization of bacteriophages against carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae and Klebsiella oxytoca.
  • Pangenome analysis of Fusobacterium necrophorum subsp. funduliforme.
  • Pangenome analysis of Collinsella aerofaciens.
  • Characterization of the diversity of Coriobacteriia in diverse environments.
  • Influence of dietary methylamines on growth and metabolism of members of the human gut microbiota.
  • Integrated systems biology approaches to understand how the gut microbiome influences NAFLD (GutsUK, Diabetes UK).
  • Microbiome work associated with ATHLETE – Advancing tools for human early lifecourse exposome research and translation (EU Horizon 2020).

External activity

Hamied Foundation UK–India Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Visiting Professor 2019–2020

Chartered Biologist (Royal Society of Biology)

Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology

Professional memberships
ESCMID study group for host and microbiota interaction – ESGHAMI
ILSI Europe Expert Group/Organizing Committee on ‘Mechanistic Insights into the Gut–Brain Axis'
Research Committee of the Healthcare Infection Society
Member of the Microbiology Society
Member of the American Society for Microbiology
Member of the Society for Applied Microbiology
Member of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Peer review
Refer to Professor Hoyles’s publons record for details of some of the journals she has reviewed manuscripts for. She is an Associate Editor for BMC Microbiology and a Handling Editor for FEMS Microbiology Letters. She was an Academic Editor for PeerJ (2017–2020) and a Review Editor on the Editorial Board of Nutrition and Metabolism, part of the journal Frontiers in Nutrition (2019–2020).
Professor Hoyles regularly reviews grants for the BBSRC, MRC and Wellcome Trust. She has also acted as a peer-reviewer for applications to The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), the Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme, the Newton Bhabha Fund, the Estonian Research Council and the Lister Institute Research Prize.

Outreach activities
Contributed to a POSTnote on The Microbiome and Human Health, delivered to Members of Parliament in May 2018 by the Houses of Parliament Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology.

Sponsors and collaborators

Current and former collaborators
Dr Alan Walker, University of Aberdeen, UK
Dr Anne L. McCartney, University of Reading, UK
Dr David Randall, William Harvey Research Institute, UK
Dr David Vauzour, Norwich Medical School, UK
Dr James Abbott, University of Dundee, UK
Dr Linda Stewart, Queen's University Belfast, UK
Dr Michael Cox, University of Birmingham, UK
Dr Pamela Greenwell, University of Westminster, UK
Dr Sarah Butcher, EMBL-EBI, UK
Dr Simon McArthur, Blizard Institute, UK
Dr Yogesh Shouche, National Centre for Microbial Resource at the National Centre for Cell Science, Pune, India 
Professor Edward Moore, Culture Collection University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Professor Glenn Gibson, University of Reading, UK
Professor John Wallace, University of Aberdeen, UK
Professor Jon Swann, University of Southampton, UK
Professor José-Manuel Fernández-Real, Hospital of Girona "Dr Josep Trueta", Spain
Professor Lindsay Hall, Quadram Institute, UK
Professor Marc-Emmanuel Dumas, Imperial College London, UK
Professor Massimo Federici, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy
Professor Rémy Burcelin, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), France
Professor Sandhya Visweswariah, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
Professor Sheila Patrick, Queen's University Belfast, UK
Professor Simon Carding, Quadram Institute, UK
Professor Stella Knight, Imperial College London, UK

Funders past and present
Diabetes UK
European Commission
Royal Society (Yusuf and Farida Hamied Foundation International Exchanges Award)
The Academy of Medical Sciences (Hamied Foundation UK–India Antimicrobial Resistance Visiting Professorship)
Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics
Medical Research Council
Alzheimer’s Research UK
Microbiology Society
British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology

Press expertise

Gut microbiome, gut microbiota, translational systems biology.