Petra Lukacik


Petra is a Research Scientist in the Walsh Group at Diamond

Tel: +44 (0) 1235 778781

Key Research Area

Pathogenicity Mechanisms of Gram Negative Bacteria

Petra is a Research Scientist working with Dr Martin Walsh. She completed her degree in Biochemistry and later her DPhil in Protein Crystallography at the University of Oxford. From there she went on to work at the University's Structural Genomics Consortium. In 2006 she became a Visiting Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, where she built up her expertise in membrane protein crystallography. She joined Diamond in 2011.


Pathogenicity Mechanisms of Gram Negative Bacteria

Petra is primarily involved in researching the disease-causing mechanisms of Gram negative bacteria such as Haemophillus influenzae, Yersinia pestis and pathogenic E. coli. In particular, she uses structural methods (crystallography and EM) to understand proteins involved in the transport of nutrients and other substances across the bacterial membrane. Since these processes are often essential for the bacteria to survive within the infected host, the team hopes to use this understanding to discover new antibiotic leads and/or vaccines.

Check out her research paper highlighted in PNAS, Nature Microbiology Reviews and Science Business Exchange.


Ray Owens (PPF-UK)

Andrew Quigley (Membrane Protein Laboratory, Diamond Light Source)

Susan K. Buchanan (NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, USA)

Panagis Filipakopoulos (Structural Genomics Consortium, University of Oxford)

Derek W. Hood (MRC Harwell)


Noinaj N, Kuszak AJ, Gumbart JC, Lukacik P, Chang H, Easley NC, Lithgow T,Buchanan SK. Structural insight into the biogenesis of β-barrel membrane proteins. Nature. 2013 Sep 19;501(7467):385-90. doi: 10.1038/nature12521. Epub 2013 Sep 1. PubMed PMID: 23995689; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3779476.

Douangamath A, Aller P, Lukacik P, Sanchez-Weatherby J, Moraes I, Brandao-Neto J. Using high-throughput in situ plate screening to evaluate the effect of dehydration on protein crystals. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 2013 May;69(Pt 5):920-3. doi: 10.1107/S0907444913002412. Epub 2013 Apr 19. PubMed PMID: 23633603.

Lukacik P, Barnard TJ, Hinnebusch BJ, Buchanan SK. Specific targeting and killing of Gram-negative pathogens with an engineered phage lytic enzyme. Virulence. 2013 Jan 1;4(1):90-1. doi: 10.4161/viru.22683. PubMed PMID: 23314572; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3544754.

Lukacik P, Barnard TJ, Keller PW, Chaturvedi KS, Seddiki N, Fairman JW, et al. Structural engineering of a phage lysin that targets gram-negative pathogens. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2012;109(25):9857-62. Epub 2012/06/09



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