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Andrew Mcbain, B.Sc., Ph.D.


Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile

Research interests

I lead a team of postgraduates and research associates which I support with research council and industrial grants. We are interested in bacterial physiology and ecology as it relates to human health and disease and to clinical/environmental persistence. A central theme is the in vitro modelling and characterisation of microbial communities; we have expertise in model systems including the constant depth film fermenter, the CDC biofilm reactor, and a variety of other model systems, including several that we have designed and validated in house, that have been adopted elsewhere. Additionally, I am currently involved in collaborative research projects that aim to better understand interactions between bacteria and the host.



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I studied for my PhD in Medical Microbiology at the University of Cambridge with the Medical Research Council. Since 1999, my research at Manchester has focused on the responses of biofilms to antimicrobial treatments and the interaction of microorganisms colonising the skin, nasopharynx, oral cavity and intestine with the human host in health and disease. I have successfully supervised 39 PhD or MD students.


  • The Public (year 2) (PHAR 20400)
  • Medicines into Practice (PHAR40100)
  • The Drug Development Workshop (PHAR30100)

My collaborations


Prof. Catherine O'Neill

Prof. Sheena Cruickshank

Dr. Chris Knight 

Dr. Joanne Konkel 

Prof. Jon Lloyd 

Dr Alain Pluen

Prof Frank Bowling

Prof. Ian Stratford

Prof. Anna Nicolaou

Prof. John McLoughlin

Prof. Curtis Dobson

Prof. Jian Lu

Prof. Rachel Watson

Prof. Mark Dickinson

Prof. Titus Augustine

Prof. Mathias Nilsson

Dr Drupad Trivedi


Affiliated staff

Dr. David Allison

Dr. Gavin Humphreys

Dr. Ruth Ledder

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Editor: Applied and Environmental Microbiology 

Member of: American Society for Microbiology, Society for Applied Microbiology, International Association for Dental Research.


  • 1997 Ph.D. Medical Microbiology (University of Cambridge)
  • 1993 B.Sc. Microbiology, First Class (Celltech Prize) (University of Liverpool)

Methodological knowledge

In vitro modelling (for biofilms, microbiotas, antimicrobial susceptibilty testing)

Human microbiome research (including oral, skin and intestine)

Biofilms in chronic wounds

Microbial community profiling

Infection models

Probiotics and prebiotics

Antimicrobial resistance

Microbicides (biocides)

Industrial consultancy


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Lydia Becker Institute
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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