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Former MCR footballers co-publish new research article for the International Society for Microbial Ecology

23rd January 2019

Pembroke Alumnus Richard Hopkinson and friend Alvaro San Millan have recently co-published a research article in the journal International Society for Microbial Ecology. Richard and Alvaro met while studying in Oxford, with Richard at Pembroke and Alvaro studying towards his post-doctorate. Together, the two were the MCR's football centre-back partnership for many years – assisting in the teams’ rise from the third division to the first division title in successive seasons.

Richard and Alvaro commented: ‘During one post-training rehydration session in the pub, we came up with the idea to combine our knowledge in microbiology and mass spectrometry to study the effects of plasmid uptake in bacteria. The study revealed that plasmid uptake induces multiple metabolic changes in bacteria affecting their growth and ability to overcome environmental stresses. These findings further our understanding of how bacteria develop antibiotic resistance and provide new insight into ongoing antibiotic development efforts.’     

Both Richard and Alvaro have since left Oxford to start independent research groups. Richard is now a lecturer and group leader in chemical biology at the University of Leicester while Alvaro is group leader at the Plasmid Biology and Evolution Laboratory at the Hospital Universitario Ramon y Cajal, Madrid, Spain.

Richard and Alvaro acknowledged Pembroke in their recent paper “ASM and RJH thank Pembroke College MCR, Oxford, UK, for promoting interdisciplinary research through football".

Their research article can be viewed here. We wish them all the best for their future research careers! 

Richard (far left), Alvaro (far right)
Richard (far left), Alvaro (far right)