Dr Hee-Jeon Hong

BEng, MEng, DPhill

Senior Lecturer in Microbiology

Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

Hee-Jeon Hong


I am a Senior Lecturer and researcher specialised in Microbiology.

I conducted my PhD project at the the John Innes Centre and was awarded a PhD at the University of East Anglia in 2002. I workd as a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Molecular Microbiology at the Jone Innes Centre until 2006 when I joined to the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge with the award of an independent University research fellowship from the Royal Society of London. I also secured a three-year MRC New Investigator grant in 2007 providing funds for a post-doctoral researcher, and for equipment to establish my research group in Cambridge. During my time in Cambridge, I have also been involved in various undergraduate/postgraduate teachings and research projects in the Department of Biochemistry.  In Janury 20016, I joined Oxford Brookes University.

My research focuses on molecular microbiology and I have a proven record in elucidating the mechanisms of bacterial antibiotic resistance. I have also been developing collaborative links with world-class research groups and the outcome of the international collaboration enabled me to publish several interesting papers and to form a research consortium grant application.

Areas of expertise

  • Antimicrobial Resistance and Development
  • Bacterial Functional Genomics
  • Actinomycetes Molecular Microbiology
  • Bacterial Cell Wall Homeostasis

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

  • Scientific Skills
  • Professional and Experimental Skills
  • Research Methods for Healthcare Scientists
  • Biochemistry of Cell Function
  • Infection, Immunity and Immunology (module leader)
  • Independent Study in Life Sciences
  • Microbiology (module leader)
  • Advanced Molecular Techniques
  • Clinical Genetics and Diagnostics
  • Independent Study
  • Research Project
  • Communicable Disease
  • Infection Prevention and Control
  • Applied Research Methods for Infection Prevention and Control
  • Dissertation for Infection Prevention and Control


I am happy to discuss any potential PhD/MRes project in my area of expertise.  Previous students include:

  • 2016-2020 Samuel Connelly (PhD) "Understanding the Genome-Wide Response of Streptomyces coelicolor to the Glycopeptide Antibiotic Teicoplanin"

  • 2018-2019 Elisabeth Somers (MSc) "Characterising the role of novel natural products, sulfated amino lipids, against vancomycin-resistant bacteria"

  • 2018-2019 Héloïse Chat (MSc Erasmus student) "Characterisation of actinomycete bacterial strains producing glycopeptide antibiotics"


My research involves using functional genomics approaches including transcriptome and proteome profiling to study and characterise the response when growing cultures of bacterial cells are challenged with antibiotics. Ultimately, understanding the dynamic link between transcriptional and translational processes will extend our knowledge of the functions and systems that are important for bacterial cell wall homeostasis, and open ways by which these can be exploited in future antibiotic therapies.

I aim to progress this research into pathogens responsible for hospital acquired infections. This work has direct implications for public health, contributing to efforts to understand the molecular basis of defensive responses and resistance to antibiotics in bacteria.

Research projects

  • PhD project: Understanding the Genome-Wide Response of Streptomyces coelicolor to the Glycopeptide Antibiotic Teicoplanin (Samuel Connelly, 2016-2020)
  • I am also running an undergraduate research project on 'Identification of novel glycopeptide antibiotics using two-step bioassay system'.

Please feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss about PhD/MRes project in my group.

Research grants and awards

  • 2011 - 2015   Royal Society University Research Fellowship (renewal)
  • 2008 - 2010   Medical Research Council Collaboration Grant (co-applicant)
  • 2007 - 2011   Medical Research Council New Investigator Research Grant
  • 2006 - 2011   Royal Society University Research Fellowship                                                   
  • 2003 - 2006   Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Research Grant (co-wrote)

Research impact

As an example of research outreach activities, I have been involved in a School Project entitled ‘Antibiotic Unearthed’ sponsored by the Microbiology Society. I worked on finding new antibiotics in soil with the UTC Oxfordshire for three years (2016-2019). For more detail of this project:




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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

  • Member of Society of General Microbiology (SGM)
  • American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
  • Member of The Microbiology Society of Korea (MSK)
  • Member of The Korean Scientists and Engineers Association in the UK (KSEAUK)     


Scientific advisory board member of UC-CARE (University of Copenhagen Research Centre for Control of Antibiotic Resistance)