Professor Colin Hughes

Elected: 2012

Area(s): Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine & Mathematics

Specialist Subject(s): Medical Microbiology, Molecular Sciences

Professor Colin Hughes ScD FLSW is a Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge and Emeritus Professor of Microbiology at the University of Cambridge.

He was born and bred in North Wales. After his PhD at the University of Kent and research and teaching in Vienna, Germany and the USA, he joined the Cambridge Pathology Department to establish research into the molecular genetics of pathogenic bacteria. His work there has for over 30 years focussed on the cellular machineries underlying bacterial virulence factor biogenesis, in particular how protein toxins are made (1), how export and efflux pumps are built and operate in the cell envelope (2), and how flagella are assembled on the cell surface to allow motility (3). He was Deputy Head of the Pathology Department, Director of Teaching and Head of its Microbiology & Parasitology Division. He served on Trinity College Council, and instigated bursaries for students from Wales. He received the ScD degree from Cambridge, and was elected a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales in 2012.

1. Activation of E.coli prohemolysin to the mature toxin by acyl carrier protein-dependent fatty acylation. Nature (1991) 351:759.
2. Crystal structure of the bacterial membrane protein TolC central to multidrug efflux and protein export. Nature (2000) 405:914.
3. A chain mechanism for flagellum growth. Nature (2013) 504:287.

The full list of Colin Hughes’ research publications are on Google Scholar.