Guoqing Xia, PhD

Dr, BSc, MSc, PhD, FHEA

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects


1. Tackling β-Lactam resistance in MRSA: novel mechanisms and approaches.

2. Biology and applications of phage infecting ESKAPE pathogens.


Personal profile


           Bacterial cell envelope plays crucial roles in bacterial physiology, morphogenesis, and interactions with phages or host cells. We are interested in the biosynthesis, structure, and function of bacterial cell surface molecules, particularly glycopolymers and membrane proteins, in nosocomial drug-resistant pathogens. We use a wide range of molecular and cellular microbiology approaches to study the functions of these surface molecules in antimicrobial resistance, biofilm formation, microbial pathogenesis, immune evasion and interactions with bacteriophage.  We believe this work will provide novel insight into the roles of bacterial surface molecules in host-microbe interactions and help develop novel diagnostics and therapeutics for drug-resistant bacterial infections.


BSc, MSc, PhD, DrRerNat, FHEA, Certificate in Medical Education

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC)
  • International Society for Viruses of Microorganisms (ISVM)
  • Editor - FEMS Microbiology Letters (2016-2018)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Research interests

1. Tackling antibiotic resistance in  hospital acquired infections.

     Antibiotic resistance has become a global crisis and  ESKAPE pathogens including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in particular pose a serious threat to our healthcare system. Our research focuses on  β-lactam resistance mechanisms  and new agents active against these priority pathogens .


  • Altarawneh, H.Alhomra, T.Alharbi, M.Fan, Y.Derrick, J. & Xia, G., (2024).  Synergistic bactericidal activity of a novel dual β-lactam combination against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. (Accepted/In press) In: J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 2024, May
  • Mikkelsen K, Sirisarn W, et al (2021 ). The novel membrane-associated auxiliary factors AuxA and AuxB modulate β-lactam resistance in MRSA by stabilizing lipoteichoic acids. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2021 Mar;57(3):106283.
  • Gerlach D, Guo Y, et al (2018) Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus alters cell wall glycosylation to evade immunityNature. 563, 705-709. 
  • Waters EM, Rudkin JK, et al  (2017) Redeploying β-lactam antibiotics as a novel anti-virulence strategy for the treatment of severe MRSA infections, J Infect Dis, 215, 80-87.
  • Brown S, Xia G, et al (2012) Methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus requires glycosylated wall teichoic acids. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA,109: 18909-14


2. Biology and biomedical application of phage.

    Increasing antibiotic resistance has prompted a renewed interest in phage research. Our research focuses on S. aureus phages and aims to investigate phage-host interactions, such as phage adsorption, replication, and  bacterial  immunity to phage infections. We believe that this study will provide new insights and tools for the development of new diagnostics and therapeutics for drug-resistant bacterial infections.


  • Xia G, Corrigan RM, et al (2011).Wall teichoic acid-dependent adsorption of staphylococcal siphovirus and myovirus. J. Bacteriol.,193, 4006-09.
  • Winstel V, Liang C, et al (2013) Wall teichoic acid structure governs horizontal gene transfer between major bacterial pathogens. Nat. Commun, 4: Article number 2345.
  • Xia G, Wolz C.(2014) Phages of Staphylococcus aureus and their impact on host evolution. Infect. Genet. Evol. 21:593-601.
  • Idelevich E, Walther T, et al (2014).Bacteriophage-based latex agglutination test for rapid identification of Staphylococcus aureusJ. Clin. Microbiol. 52(9), 3394-3398
  • Li, X, Gerlach D, et al  (2015). An accessory wall teichoic acid glycosyltransferase protects Staphylococcus aureus from the lytic activity of Podoviridae. Sci Rep, 5, 17219.
  • Koc C, Xia G,  et al. (2016). Structure of the host-recognition device of Staphylococcus aureus phage Φ11.  Sci Rep, 6, 27581.
  • Li X, Koc C,  et al (2016). An essential role for the baseplate protein Gp45 in phage adsorption to Staphylococcus aureus. Sci Rep, 6, 26455.
  • Whittard E, Redfern J, et al ( 2021 ) Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of novel polyvalent bacteriophages with potent in vitro activity against an international collection of genetically giverse Staphylococcus aureus. Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol., 11, 698909.


Current Teaching in FBMH

  • MSc in Medical Microbiology :  MEDN68652 Vaccinations, Antimicrobials and Resistance ; MEDN68680: Microbiology dissertation
  • MBChB Program :  Team based learning ;   PEP Literature review  
  • MSc Medical and Molecular Virology: BIOL65252 Research Project 
  • UGT teaching :  BIOOL21090, BIOL30101 ;  BIOL30030,  BIOL31220;  BIOL40000 , BIOL33000 ; BIOL40010    MSci Research Project 
  • MAHSE/Doctoral Academy (2017-):  Supervisor  for HSST DrClinSci in Microbiology
  • SBS Exam Officer ( 2022-)

Past Teaching

  1. Programme director for MSc in Medical Microbiology  ( 2013- 2017 )
  2. Unit lead  and Lecturer :  ( 2013-2022) : MEDN 68621: Understanding Infection; MEDN 68680: Microbiology Dissertation;  BIOL66121 Research Project I
  3. Lecturer: (2013-2023 )
    • MEDN 68511: Principles of Microbiology; MEDN 68632: Molecular Diagnostics;  MEDN 68662:  Clinical Microbiology 1 ;   MEDN 68672:  Clinical Microbiology 2;  MEDN 69910:  Research Methods ;MEDN 68642:  Global Health and Epidemiology
    • BIOL66121 Research Project I;   BIOL66132 Research Project II; BIOL 68921 :Host-pathogen interactions.

Supervision information

      PhD Opportunities      

1. β-Lactam resistance in MRSA.
2. Biology and applications of ESKAPE phages.



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

Areas of expertise

  • Q Science (General)
  • Microbiology
  • Bacteriology
  • Bacterial cell surface
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Bacteriophages
  • Host-microbe interactions
  • teichoic acids
  • Glycobiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • MRSA
  • antibiotic combination
  • antibiotic resistance breaker agent

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Lydia Becker Institute


  • Antibiotic Resistance
  • Β-lactam
  • MRSA
  • Antibiotic combination
  • antibiotic resistance reversal agents
  • Bacteriophage
  • Teichoic acids
  • Bacterial cell surface
  • Microbial Glycobiology


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