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 Matthew S. Twigg Ph.D. M.Sc. B.Sc. (hons.)




Employment History


2016 – Present Ulster University Research Associate Microbial Biotechnology

 Post-doctoral research associate in the laboratory of Prof. Ibrahim Banat working primarily on an EU funded Horizon 2020 multi-center project entitled MARISURF. The role focuses on identifying, characterizing and optimizing biosurfactant production from marine bacterial with the goal of exploiting these products for commercial and scientific interests.

The role has allowed me to:

  • Investigate the effect of media and growth condition on biosurfactant production in marine bacteria.
  • Use chemical analysis techniques to investigate biosurfactant production in novel marine bacteria.
  • Carry out molecular biology driven research in order to characterize and therefore optimize biosurfactant production via genetic manipulation of marine bacteria.
  • Investigate the application of new molecular biological tools for use in marine bacteria.
2013 – 2016 Queen’s University Belfast Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate

The role focused on the development of assays for the early detection of bacterial exacerbation in CF samples using a novel bio-reporter identified by QUB.

The role has also allowed me to:

  • Carry out scientific investigations into the role of proteases and anti-proteases in CF, coordinating my laboratory group’s work on a FP7 funded clinical trial CFMATTERS
  • Present my work both locally and at international conferences
  • Become involved in teaching activities at the University

 Educational History

2008 – 2012 The University of Nottingham Ph.D. Molecular Microbiology (Pass)

The Signal Based Relationship Between the Green Seaweed Ulva and its Indigenous Bacterial Community

 A four-year NERC funded collaborative project run between The University of Nottingham and Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK).

The project successfully carried out:

  • PCR and Phylogenetic analysis of the microbiome associated with the algal genus Ulva.
  • Molecular biological analysis of operons encoding bacterial quorum sensing systems in novel marine bacteria
  • Used LCMS techniques to elude chemical signaling molecules being employed by Ulva’s endogenous bacterial community.
  • Further established the role these bacteria play in the Ulva life cycle leading to the publication of a primary research paper.
  • Investigated the ability of micro-algal compounds to attenuate virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa via mediation of quorum sensing signaling pathways.

Supervisors: Prof. Miguel Camára, Dr. Steve Atkinson and Dr. Karen Tait


2007 – 2008 The University of Nottingham M.Sc. Molecular Medical Microbiology (Distinction)

Dissertation Research Project: An investigation of the Type Three Secretion and Quorum Sensing in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis


2003 – 2006 King’s College London B.Sc. (hon.) Biochemistry and Microbiology (2:1)

Publications and Posters

Twigg, M.S., Tripathi, L., Irorere, V.U., Salek, K., Gutierrez, T., Marchant, R., & Banat, I.M. (2018) Identification and Characterisation of Short Chain Rhamnolipid Production in a Previously Uninvestigated, Non-Pathogenic Marine Pseudomonad. Applied Microbiololgy and Biotechnology, In Press.

Funston, S.J., Tsaousi, K., Smyth, T.J., Twigg, M.S., Marchant, R., & Bannat, I.M. (2017) Enhanced rhamnolipid production in Burkholderia thailandensis transposon knockout strains deficient in polyhydroxyalkanoate ( PHA ) synthesis. Applied Microbiololgy and Biotechnology, 101 (23/24): 8443-8454.

Twigg, M.S., Brockbank, S., Lowry, P., FitzGerald, S.P., Weldon, S., & Taggart, C. (2015) Cleaved SLPI as a marker for exacerbation in cystic fibrosis. Poster presented at the European Respiratory Society Congress 2015, Abstract available European Respiratory Journal, 46 (Supplement 59): DOI: 10.1183/13993003.congress-2015. PA3876

Twigg, M.S., Brockbank, S., Lowry, P., FitzGerald, S.P., Taggart, C. and Weldon, S. (2015) The Role of Serine Proteases and Antiproteases in the Cystic Fibrosis Lung. Mediators of Inflammation, Article ID 293053: doi:10.1155/2015/29305

Author of Patent Method and Kit for Detecting Bacterial Infection” Filed with the UK Intellectual Property Office, Aug 2014 – Ref number: P11705GB00  

 Twigg, M.S., Tait, K. Williams, P. Atkinson, S. & Cámara, M. (2014) Interference with the germination and growth of Ulva zoospores by quorum sensing molecules produced by Ulva-associated epiphytic bacteria. Environmental Microbiology, 16: 445-453.

Twigg, M.S., Atkinson, S., Tait, K. and Camára, M. (2010) Quorum Sensing in the Marine Environment. Presented at the NERC Oceans 2025 Annual Science Meeting 2010 in Plymouth, UK

Twigg, M.S., Atkinson, S., Tait, K. and Camára, M. (2009) Quorum Sensing Signal Molecules and the Green Seaweed Ulva. Presented at the NERC Oceans 2025 Annual Science Meeting 2009 in Liverpool, UK


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