Dr Jonathan Cox

Lecturer in Microbiology

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Science 

Biomedical Science Top Up Modules Course Director


School of Life & Health Sciences 

Aston University
Aston Triangle
B4 7ET

Tel: +44 (0) 121 204 5011
Email: j.a.g.cox@aston.ac.uk 
Room: MB438C
Lab: MB327

Jonathan Cox 005

I joined Aston University in 2016 as a Lecturer in Microbiology in the School of Life & Health Sciences (LHS). Prior to that, I was a Research Fellow funded by the Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation (TCOLF), operated by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Madrid under their Diseases in the Developing World directive. I was also previously a Research Associate in the Institute of Microbiology and Infection (IMI) at the University of Birmingham immediately after completing my PhD in Molecular Microbiology and Drug Discovery. Before that, I completed an undergraduate degree in Medical Biochemistry at University of Birmingham, where my interest in the biology and biochemistry of microorganisms began.

  • BSc (Hons) Medical Biochemistry
  • PhD Molecular Microbiology and Drug Discovery
  • Lecturer in Microbiology, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University
  • Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation (TCOLF) Research Fellow, GSK, Madrid
  • Post-doctoral Research Associate, University of Birmingham 
I am module lead for BY1MI1 (First Year Microbiology) and I also contribute to Microbiology teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level on a number of degree programs including Biology and Biomedical Science. I also supervise laboratory placement and project students in addition to providing pastoral support as an academic tutor. I am actively involved with a number of outreach and public engagement activities.
My research interests surround the discovery of new antibiotics and identifying the exact mechanism by which those antibiotics kill bacteria. Finding new “mechanisms of action” reveals new drug targets that can be exploited in the battle against antimicrobial resistance (AMR). AMR accounts for around 700,000 deaths per annum globally and that number is predicted to rise to 10 million by 2050. The current economic burden of AMR is estimated to be at least €1.5 billion per year in the EU. New antibiotics and an improved understanding of how to use them will help to slow the progression of AMR, saving countless lives in the future.



I have a fully funded UK/EU PhD studentship available in TB Drug Discovery (deadline 9th July 2017). Details are available here.


  • PhD Studentship (School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University) £70,824, 2017-2020
  • AMR4AMR Seed Corn Grant (EPSRC administered through AMR4AMR) £20,000, 2017-2018
  • PhD Studentship (Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity) £35,412, match funded by Aston Prize Studentship (Aston University), 2017-2020
  • Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard Grant (Wellcome Trust and Global Challenges Research Fund) £100,000, 2018-2020
  • Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) Grant (AMR-TB) (European Commission) Co-I with Dr Dmitry Nerukh and Dr Michael Stich (Aston EAS) total value £731,400, Aston £128,800, 2019-2021
  • PhD Studentship (Give A Child Health Fund) £39,000, match funded by Aston Prize Studentship (Aston University), 2018-2021


  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
  • Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Science (FIBMS)
  • Member of the Acid Fast Club, UK
  • Member of the Royal Society of Biology (MRSB)
  • Member of the Biochemical Society
  • Member of the Microbiology Society
  • Member of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC)


Abrahams KA*, Cox JAG*, Spivey VL, Loman NJ, Pallen MJ, et al. (2012) Identification of Novel Imidazo[1,2-a]pyridine Inhibitors Targeting M. tuberculosis QcrB. PLoS ONE 7(12): e52951. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052951 *These authors contributed equally to this work

Gurcha S, Veeraraghavan U, Cox JAG, Futterer K, Abrahams K, Bhatt A, Alderwick L, Reynolds R, Loman N, Alemparte C, Barros D, Lloyd A, Ballell L and Besra G (2014). Biochemical and structural characterization of mycobacterial aspartyl-tRNA synthetase AspS. PLoS ONE 9(11): e113568. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113568

Mugumbate G, Abrahams KA, Cox JAG, Papadatos G, van Westen G, et al. (2015) Mycobacterial Dihydrofolate Reductase Inhibitors Identified Using Chemogenomic Methods and In Vitro Validation. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0121492. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0121492

Jankute M, Cox JAG, Harrison J and Besra G (2015). Assembly of the mycobacterial wall. Annual Review of Microbiology 69:405-423

Cox JAG*, Abrahams K*, Alemparte C, Ghidelli-Disse S, Rullas J, Singh A, Gurcha S, Nataraj V, Remuiñan M, Encinas L, Jervis P, Bhatt A, Kruse U, Bantscheff M, Fütterer K, Barros D, Ballell L, Drewes G and Besra G (2016). Target assignment of THPP inhibitors reveals EchA6 as an essential fatty acid shuttle in mycobacteria. Nature Microbiology 1(15006): doi:10.1038/nmicrobiol.2015.6

Abrahams KA, Chung C, Ghidelli-Disse S, Rullas J, Rebollo-Lopez M, Gurcha SS, Cox JAG et al. (2016). A new anti-tubercular scaffold targets KasA with a novel mode of action. Nature Communications 7(12581):doi:10.1038/ncomms12581

Cox JAG, Worthington T (2016). The ‘Antibiotic Apocalypse’ - Scaremongering or Scientific Reporting? Trends in Microbiology

Cox JAG, Mugumbate G, Vela-Glez Del Peral L, Jankute M, Abrahams KA et al. (2016). Novel inhibitors of Mycobacterium tuberculosis GuaB2 identified by a target based high-throughput screen. Scientific Reports doi: 10.1038/srep38986 http://www.nature.com/articles/srep38986

Recent Publications