Dr Yanmin Hu is a Senior Research Fellow. Her main research interests are in tuberculosis and antibiotic discovery.
The scientific and intellectual imperatives for her research include new drugs and better drug regimen for tuberculosis and other important infectious diseases; improved chemotherapy to eradicate persistent bacteria; molecular approaches to understand the processes of infection and pathogenesis of M. tuberculosis and other pathogens.
Dr Hu’s research is concerned with tuberculosis (TB) which infects one third of world population and kills approximately two million people every year. Her research interests are the molecular pathogenesis of tuberculosis and novel anti-tuberculous (and other infectious diseases) drug discovery.
Dr Hu’s research has focused on:
Latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis gene expression. The significance of the discovery is that dormant bacteria in tuberculosis are metabolically active although they switch off their overall metabolic activity.
Functions of TB genes in M. tuberculosis latency, virulence and pathogenesis. The significance of the research is the discovery of the roles of stress associated genes in TB pathogenesis and persistence. For example, deletion of hspX gene, encoding alpha-crystallin-like protein, caused fast bacterial growth in animal models. Cpn60.1 gene was essential in bacterial granulomatous disease. Thiol Peroxidase TPX was important for the bacterium to deal with intracellular stress. Cholesterol degradation genes were essential for M. tuberculosis virulence and pathogenesis.
Development of in vitro and in vivo models to study and evaluate the activities of antituberculous drugs, such as Hu-Coates patented model and a new mouse model which produces increased inflammatory tuberculosis lesion.
The IMI project PreDict TB. A model-based preclinical development of anti-tuberculosis drug combinations (2012 to 2017). Dr Yanmin Hu and Professor Coates are one of the partners in this project which studies different drug combinations in vitro and in vivo in order to define and select the PK/PD parameter for the clearance of M. tuberculosis after treatment.
Project BacAttack. This project studied and developed a new anti-bacterial coating for catheters. BacAttack is focused on a stealth attack tool for preventing clinical drug resistance through a unique self-regenerating surface (2012 to 2015). Dr Yanmin Hu and Professor Coates are one of the partners in this European Commission Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) supported project.
Discovery of new drug and new drug combination. Dr Yanmin Hu and Professor Coates have invented a new way of making antibiotics and antibiotic combination which has been commercialised by Helperby Therapeutics, a St George’s spinout company.
Dr Hu obtained a first class Honours Degree in Biological Sciences in the Hebei Teacher’s University, China. She gained her PhD in Medical Microbiology entitled “differential gene expression in dormant Mycobacterium tuberculosis” at St George’s, University of London, where she continued her post-doctoral research on elucidating the molecular pathogenesis of tuberculosis and novel drug discovery. In 1993, she was appointed the youngest professor of microbiology for her work on antibiotic resistance in Hebei Teacher’s University, China.
Dr Hu is a long term member of the Society for General Microbiology and has served on the numerous grant review boards and referee panels, such as the Medical Research Council and the Health and Medical Research Fund, Hong Kong.
Hu, Y., A. R. M. Coates, A. Liu, P. A. Lund and B. Henderson. 2013. Identification of the monocyte activating motif in Mycobacterium tuberculosis chaperonin 60.1. Tuberculosis. 93:442-447.
Hu, Y. and A. R. M. Coates. 2013 Enhancement by a novel anti-MRSA compound HT61 of neomycin, gentamicin, mupirocin and chlorhexidine: in vitro and in vivo studies. The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 68:374-384.
Coates, AR, Hu, Y, Jindani, A, Mitchison, DA. 2013. Contradictory results with high-dosage rifamycin in mice and humans. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. Feb;57:1103.
Hu, Y. and A. Coates. 2012. Nonmultiplying bacteria are profoundly tolerant to antibiotics Antibiotic Resistance, Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology 211, DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-28951-4_7.
Hu, Y. and A. R. M. Coates. 2011 Mycobacterium tuberculosis acg gene is required for growth and virulence in vivo. PLoS One 6: e20958.
Hu, Y., R. van der Geize, G. S. Besra, S. S. Gurcha, A. Liu, M. Rohde, M. Singh, and A. Coates. 2010. 3-Ketosteroid 9alpha-hydroxylase is an essential factor in the pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Mol Microbiol. 75:107-121.
Hu, Y., R. van der Geize, G. S. Besra, S. S. Gurcha, A. Liu, M. Rohde, M. Singh, and A. Coates. 2010. 3-Ketosteroid 9alpha-hydroxylase is an essential factor in the pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Mol Microbiol. 75:107-121
Hu, Y., and A. R. Coates. 2009. Acute and Persistent Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infections Depend on the Thiol Peroxidase TPX. PLoS ONE 4:e5150.
Hu, Y., F. Movahedzadeh, N. G. Stoker, and A. R. M. Coates. 2006. Deletion of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis α-crystallin-like hspX gene causes increased bacterial growth in vivo. Infection and Immunity 74: 861–868.
Yingjun Liu - Drug discovery and drug combination discovery
Pietro Picconi - Antibiotic discovery
Nevan McNichol - Antibiotic combination
Professor Stephen Gillespie (University of St Andrew)
Dr Gerry Davies – Senior lecturer, Liverpool University
Professor Gurdyal Besra - School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham
Professor Mike Berry – University of Leicester
Dr Galina Mukamolova - University of Leicester
Professor Brian Henderson - UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences
Dr Peter Lund - Reader in Molecular Microbiology, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham
Professor Gunter Schneider - Department of Medical Biochemistry & Biophysics Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
Dr Robert Van Der Geize - Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, Department of Microbiology, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.
Dr Maria Jesus Garcia - Senior lecturer, Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Autonoma University of Madrid
2012-2017 IMI. PREDICT-TB. 15 million euros. Model-based preclinical development of anti-tuberculosis drug combinations.
2012-2015 European Commission. BAC-ATTACK. 3 million euros. A stealth attack tool for preventing clinical drug resistance through a unique self-regenerating surface . Dr Hu and Professor Coates work with six research centres in Europe to develop a new anti-bacterial coating for catheters and implants
2011-2016. Helperby Therapeutics industrial project. £1 million. Antibiotic discovery is undertaken in collaboration with Helperby Therapeutics, The lead compound has shown efficacy in a Phase II clinical trial.
Dr Hu supervises BSc projects. She is also a personal tutor for the Medicine MBBS course.
Dr Hu supervises MSc and PhD projects.
Dr Hu supervises Extra Mural Year student research projects, King’s College London.