hero image
Dr Jonathan A. G. Cox - Aston University. Birmingham, , GB

Dr Jonathan A. G. Cox Dr Jonathan A. G. Cox

Lecturer in Microbiology | Aston University

Birmingham, UNITED KINGDOM

Dr Cox's research interests surround the discovery of new antibiotics & identifying the mechanisms by which those antibiotics kill bacteria.

Media

Publications:

Documents:

Photos:

Videos:

AMR Schools Roadshow Section 2: Infection and the superbug MRSA AMR Schools Roadshow Section 3: Antibiotics

Audio:

Social

Biography

Dr Jonathan A. G. Cox's 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.

In his current role, Jonathan leads the Mycobacterial Research Group at Aston University. His group consists of three PhD students and one post-doctoral researcher, along with a number of master’s students and undergraduate students who decide to study with them. They are a multidisciplinary team with a diverse skill-set, spanning microbiology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, structural biology and drug discovery. The Mycobacterial Research Group's main focus is to study the physiology of various pathogenic mycobacteria (such as Mycobacterium abscessus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis) and to discover new ways to treat infections. By using the physiology to inform antibiotic drug discovery, they can develop new treatment regimens that are able to overcome factors contributing to antibiotic resistance in these highly antibiotic-tolerant bacteria. The Mycobacterial Research Group collaborates with several other research groups around the UK, including The University of Bradford, University of Hertfordshire and University of Plymouth, as well as clinicians at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Jonathan was recently interviewed by the Microbiology Society about his research.

Jonathan also teaches at Aston and currently leads teaching for first year microbiology on their Biomedical Science, Biology and Biochemistry courses, as well as contributing to teaching across other parts of their program. Jonathan currently serves as Biomedical Science Top Up Modules Course Director.

Jonathan regularly engages with the press to comment on news stories and issues related to microbiology, infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance. He has experience of both written and broadcast media.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Health Sciences

Biochemistry

Antibiotics

Antimicrobial Resistance

Micro-Organisms

Education (2)

University of Birmingham: PhD, Molecular Microbiology and Drug Discovery 2015

University of Birmingham: BSc, Medical Biochemistry 2010

Affiliations (7)

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

Media Appearances (5)

Treating multi-drug resistant Mycobacterium abscessus: three’s a charm

European Pharmaceutical Review  online

2020-02-13

Lecturer in Microbiology at Aston University and leader of the research team, Dr Jonathan Cox said: “This new drug combination is a significant step forward for patients with CF that get infected with the deadly M. abscessus bacteria. Our new drug combination is significantly less toxic than those currently used and so far, we have managed to kill every patient’s bacterial isolate that we have received.

view more

Antibiotic Combination Kills Resistant Bacteria Affecting CF Patients, Study Reports

Cystic Fibrosis News Today  online

2020-01-29

“Our new drug combination is significantly less toxic than those currently used, and so far we have managed to kill every patient’s bacterial isolate that we have received,” Jonathan Cox, PhD, a lecturer in microbiology at Aston University and the team’s leader, said in a press release.

view more

New treatment kills off infection that can be deadly to cystic fibrosis patients

EurekAlert!  online

2020-01-27

Dr Jonathan Cox, Lecturer in Microbiology, Aston University and leader of the team that discovered this new treatment said: "This new drug combination is a significant step forward for patients with cystic fibrosis that get infected with the deadly Mycobacterium abscessus bacteria. Our new drug combination is significantly less toxic than those currently used, and so far we have managed to kill every patient's bacterial isolate that we have received.

view more

New treatment kills off infection that can be deadly to cystic fibrosis patients

Medical Xpress  online

2020-01-27

Dr. Jonathan Cox, Lecturer in Microbiology, Aston University and leader of the team that discovered this new treatment said: "This new drug combination is a significant step forward for patients with cystic fibrosis that get infected with the deadly Mycobacterium abscessus bacteria. Our new drug combination is significantly less toxic than those currently used, and so far we have managed to kill every patient's bacterial isolate that we have received.

view more

New drug combination destroys bacterial infection that can be fatal to cystic fibrosis patients

News Medical  online

2020-01-24

A new treatment developed by researchers at Aston University and Birmingham Children's Hospital has been found to completely kill a bacterial infection that can be deadly to cystic fibrosis patients.

view more

Articles (5)

Aston University's Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Roadshow: raising awareness and embedding knowledge of AMR in key stage 4 learners

Infection Prevention in Practice

2020 Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global healthcare problem and therefore raising awareness within young learners is imperative. An AMR roadshow was designed to take key stage 4 students' learning ‘out of the classroom’, assess pre-existing knowledge of AMR and determine the impact of the roadshow on knowledge retention. Knowledge and subsequent retention were measured pre- and post-event through a standardised questionnaire. The roadshow significantly improved knowledge and understanding of AMR, which was retained for a minimum of twelve weeks.

view more

Identification and validation of the mode of action of the chalcone anti-mycobacterial compounds

The Cell Surface

2020 The search for new TB drugs has become one of the great challenges for modern medicinal chemistry. An improvement in the outcomes of TB chemotherapy can be achieved by the development of new, shorter, cheap, safe and effective anti-TB regimens.

view more

Effect of Amoxicillin in combination with Imipenem-Relebactam against Mycobacterium abscessus

Scientific Reports volume

2020 Infections caused by Mycobacterium abscessus are increasing in prevalence in cystic fibrosis patients. This opportunistic pathogen′s intrinsic resistance to most antibiotics has perpetuated an urgent demand for new, more effective therapeutic interventions. Here we report a prospective advance in the treatment of M. abscessus infection; increasing the susceptibility of the organism to amoxicillin, by repurposing the β-lactamase inhibitor, relebactam, in combination with the front line M. abscessus drug imipenem.

view more

The drugs don't work: evaluation of educational theatre to gauge and influence public opinion on antimicrobial resistance

Journal of Hospital Infection

2019 Increased public awareness of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a key component of effective antimicrobial stewardship strategies. Educational theatre combined with an expert panel was used to engage the public about AMR through delivery of a play entitled ‘The drugs don't work’. Audience knowledge and understanding of AMR were measured by pre- and post-play questionnaires.

view more

Dissecting the Antimicrobial Composition of Honey

Antibiotics

2019 Honey is a complex sweet food stuff with well-established antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. It has been used for millennia in a variety of applications, but the most noteworthy include the treatment of surface wounds, burns and inflammation. A variety of substances in honey have been suggested as the key component to its antimicrobial potential; polyphenolic compounds, hydrogen peroxide, methylglyoxal and bee-defensin.

view more