Despoina Mavridou

  • Assistant Professor
  • Molecular Biosciences
Profile image of Despoina Mavridou


Dr Mavridou is a chemist by degree. After finishing her undergraduate studies at the University of Athens, she proceeded to do a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Oxford working with Stuart Ferguson and Christina Redfield. Her project involved structure-to-function studies of Escherichia coli DsbD, a central protein for disulfide bond formation in the periplasm of Gram-negative bacteria. Following her PhD, Dr Mavridou remained in the same research lab as a postdoctoral research associate continuing her work on disulfide bond formation, while she also branched out to study cytochrome c maturation in E. coli. In 2014 she was awarded an MRC Career Development Award to start her own research group at the MRC Centre of Molecular Bacteriology and Infection (CMBI) at Imperial College London. Before starting her fellowship, she spent a year as a research fellow in the Department of Zoology in Oxford, as part of the research groups of Kevin Foster and Stuart West. Her work there focused on the contribution of collective behaviour in bacterial competition. At Imperial College London, Dr Mavridou led her own research team and performed studies in the area of redox biology, bacterial antibiotic resistance and polymicrobial community composition. She joined the Department of Molecular Biosciences at the University of Texas at Austin as an Assistant Professor in March 2020.


The Mavridou lab is interested in the biology of Gram-negative bacteria, focusing on processes that occur in the extra-cytoplasmic environment. Their research approaches span from the fundamental to the applied along three main research directions:

1) Investigating the importance of cell envelope proteostasis for antibiotic resistance

2) Exploring the provenance and mechanisms of evolution of critical antibiotic resistance proteins

3) Studying the dynamics of bacterial communities and, in particular, competitive interactions between toxin-producing strains encountered in polymicrobial environments

Research Areas

  • Infectious Disease, Immunology and Microbiology
  • Biochemistry

Fields of Interest

  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Disease

Centers and Institutes

  • John Ring LaMontagne Center for Infectious Disease


  • Ph.D. in Biochemistry, University of Oxford


  • View Publications on PubMed


    • K. Gadar, R. de Dios, N. Kadeřábková, T.A.K. Prescott, D.A.I. Mavridou, R.R. McCarthy (2023) Disrupting iron homeostasis can potentiate colistin activity and overcome colistin resistance mechanisms in Gram-negative bacteria, Communications Biologyin press

    • N. Kadeřábková, A.J.S. Mahmood, R.C.D. Furniss, D.A.I. Mavridou (2023) Making a chink in their armor: current and next-generation antimicrobial strategies against the bacterial cell envelope, Advances in Microbial Physiology, 83, 221-307

    • J.K. Parker, R. Gu, G.A. Estrera, B. Kirkpatrick, D.T. Rose, D.A.I. Mavridou, K.E. Mondy, B.W. Davies (2023) Shared Genetics of Carbapenem-resistant and ESBL-producing Enterobacterales in Central Texas, Infection and Drug Resistance, 16, 1249-1261

    • J.R. Randall, C.D. DuPai, T.J. Cole, G. Davidson, K.E. Groover, S.L. Slater, D.A.I. Mavridou, C.O. Wilke, B.W. Davies (2023) Designing and identifying β-hairpin peptide macrocycles with antibiotic potential, Science Advances, 9(2), eade0008

    • J.D. Turnbull, J. Dicks, S. Gurung, H. McGregor, NCTC 2021 Depositors Cohort, S. Alexander, (2022) Notification list of bacterial strains made available by the United Kingdom National Collection of Type Cultures in 2021, Microbiology Resource Announcements, 11(8), e0035722 (authorship under “NCTC 2021 Depositors Cohort”)

    • N. Kaderabkova, M. Bharathwaj, R.C.D. Furniss, D. Gonzalez, T. Palmer, D.A.I. Mavridou (2022) The biogenesis of β-lactamase enzymes, Microbiology, 168(8)

    • R.C.D. Furniss, N. Kadeřábková, D. Barker, P. Bernal, E. Maslova, A.A.A. Antwi, H. McNeil, H.L. Pugh, L. Dortet, J.M.A. Blair, G. Larrouy-Maumus, R.R. McCarthy, D. Gonzalez and D.A.I. Mavridou (2022) Breaking antimicrobial resistance by disrupting extracytoplasmic protein folding, eLife, 11, e57974

    • M. Humphrey, G. Larrouy-Maumus, R.C.D. Furniss, D.A.I. Mavridou, A. Sabnis and A.M. Edwards (2021) Colistin resistance in Escherichia coli confers protection of the cytoplasmic but not outer membrane from the polymyxin antibiotic, Microbiology, 167(11), 001104
    • L.M. Nolan, A.K. Cain, T. Clamens, R.C.D. Furniss, E. Manoli, M.A. Sainz-Polo,G. Dougan, D. Albesa-Jové, J. Parkhill, D.A.I. Mavridou* and A. Filloux* (2021) Identification of Tse8 as a Type VI secretion system toxin from Pseudomonas aeruginosa that targets the bacterial transamidosome to inhibit protein synthesis in prey cells, Nature Microbiology, 6(9), 1199-1210 (*joint corresponding author)

    • S.A. Howard, R.C.D. Furniss, D. Bonini, P. Paracuellos-Torrecilla, D. Zlotkin, T. Costa, A. Levy, D.A.I. Mavridou and A. Filloux (2021) The breadth and molecular basis of Hcp-driven type six secretion system (T6SS) effector delivery, mBio, 12(3), e0026221

    • A. Sabnis, K.L.H. Hagart, A. Klöckner, M.Becce, L.E. Evans, R.C.D. Furniss, D.A.I. Mavridou, R. Murphy, M.M. Stevens, J.C. Davies, G. Larrouy-Maumus, T.B. Clarke and A.M. Edwards (2021) Colistin kills bacteria by targeting lipopolysaccharide in the cytoplasmic membrane, eLife, 10, e65836

    • S.L. Slater and D.A.I. Mavridou (2021) Harnessing the potential of bacterial oxidative folding to aid protein production, Molecular Microbiology, 116(1), 16-28

    • P. Bernal, R.C.D. Furniss, S. Fecht, R.C.Y. Leung, L. Spiga, D.A.I. Mavridou* and A. Filloux* (2021) Novel structural components produce distinct type VI secretion system anchoring modes, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(7), e2008500118 (*joint corresponding author)

    • R. Krishna Kumar, T.A. Meiller-Legrand, A. Alcinesio, D. Gonzalez, D.A.I. Mavridou, O.J. Meacock, W.P.J. Smith, L. Zhou, W. Kim, G.S. Pulcu, H. Bayley, K.R. Foster (2021) Droplet printing reveals the importance of micron-scale structure for bacterial ecology, Nature Communications, 12(1), 857

    • K.P. Ha, R.S. Clarke, G.L. Kim, J.L. Brittan, J.E. Rowley, D.A.I. Mavridou, D. Parker, T.B. Clarke, A.H. Nobbs and A.M. Edwards (2020) Staphylococcal DNA repair is required for infection, mBio, 11(6), e02288-20

    • L.S. Stelzl, D.A.I. Mavridou, E. Saridakis, D. Gonzalez, A.J. Baldwin, S.J. Ferguson, M.S.P. Sansom and C. Redfield (2020) Local frustration determines loop opening during the catalytic cycle of an oxidoreductase, eLife, 9, e54661

    • R.C.D. Furniss, M. Kostrzewa, D.A.I. Mavridou* and G. Larrouy-Maumus* (2020) The clue is in the lipid A: rapid detection of colistin resistance, PLOS Pathogens, 16(4), e1008331 (*joint corresponding author)

    • R.C.D. Furniss, L. Dortet, W. Bolland, O. Drews, K. Sparbier, R.A. Bonnin, A. Filloux, M. Kostrzewa, D.A.I. Mavridou* and G. Larrouy-Maumus* (2019) Fast and robust detection of colistin resistance in Escherichia coli using the MALDI Biotyper Sirius mass spectrometry system, Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 57(12), e01427-19 (*joint corresponding author)

    • D. Gonzalez and Despoina A.I. Mavridou (2019) Making the best of aggression: the many dimensions of bacterial toxin regulation, Trends in Microbiolology, 27(11), 897-905

    • P. Pissaridou, L.P. Allsopp, S. Wettstadt, S.A. Howard, D.A.I. Mavridou and A. Filloux (2018) The Pseudomonas aeruginosa T6SS-VgrG1b spike is topped by a PAAR protein eliciting DNA damage to bacterial competitors, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(49), 12519-12524

    • S.H. Shevket, D. Gonzalez, J.L. Cartwright, C. Kleanthous, S.J. Ferguson, C. Redfield and D.A.I. Mavridou (2018) The CcmC-CcmE interaction during cytochrome c maturation by System I is driven by protein-protein and not protein-heme contacts, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 293(43), 16778-16790

    • R.C.D. Furniss, W.W. Low, D.A.I. Mavridou, L.F. Dagley, A.I. Webb, E. Tate and A. Clements (2018) Plasma membrane profiling during enterohemorrhagic E. coli infection reveals that the metalloprotease StcE cleaves CD55 from host epithelial surfaces., Journal of Biological Chemistry, 115(29), 293(44), 17188-17199 

    • L. Dortet, R. Bonnin, I. Pennisi, L. Gauthier, A.B. Jousset, L. Dabos, R.C.D. Furniss, D.A.I. Mavridou, P. Bogaerts, Y. Glupczynski, A. Potron, P. Plésiat, R. Beyrouthy, F. Robin, R. Bonnet, T. Naas, A. Filloux and G. Larrouy-Maumus (2018) Rapid detection and discrimination of chromosome- and MCR-plasmid-mediated resistance to polymyxins by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry: The MALDIxin test, Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 73(12), 3359-3367 

    • D. Gonzalez, A. Sabnis, K.R. Foster and D.A.I. Mavridou (2018) Costs and benefits of provocation in bacterial warfare, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(29), 7593-7598

    • A.C. Murphey*, D.A.I. Mavridou*, J. Hodgkin and S.J. Ferguson (2018) The heme auxotroph Caenorhabditis elegans can cleave the thioether bonds of c-type cytochromes, FEBS Letters, 592(6), 928-938 (*joint first author)

    • D.A.I. Mavridou, D. Gonzalez, W. Kim, A. West and K.R. Foster (2018) Bacteria use collective behavior to generate diverse combat strategies, Current Biology, 28(3), 345-355

    • M. Valentini, D. Gonzalez, D.A.I. Mavridou and A. Filloux (2018) Lifestyle transitions and adaptive pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Current Opinion in Microbiology, 41, 15-20

    • A.D. Goddard, S. Bali, D.A.I. Mavridou, V.M. Luque-Almagro, A.J. Gates, M.D. Roldán, D.J. Richardson and S.J. Ferguson (2017) The Paracoccus denitrificans NarK-like nitrate and nitrite transporters; probing nitrate uptake and nitrate/nitrite exchange mechanisms, Molecular Microbiology, 103(1), 117-133

    • R.B.Y. Lee*, D.A.I. Mavridou*, G. Papadakos, H.L.O. McClelland and R.E.M. Rickaby (2016) The uronic acid content of coccolith-associated polysaccharides provides insight into coccolithogenesis and past climate, Nature Communications, 7, 13144 (*joint first author)

    • D.A.I. Mavridou*, D. Gonzalez, Clements and K.R. Foster (2016) The pUltra plasmid series: A robust and flexible tool for fluorescent labeling of Enterobacteria, Plasmid, 87-88, 65-71 (*corresponding author)


  • Outstanding Teaching Award, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, USA (2022)
  • Nominated participant, “Women at Imperial 2020 Portraits” project, Imperial College London, UK (2020)
  • Nominated participant, “Influential St Peter’s Women” project, St Peter’s College, University of Oxford, UK (2019)
  • Birmingham Fellows Award from the University of Birmingham (2017, gratefully declined)
  • Career Development Award from the Medical Research Council UK (2014)
  • Recognition Award for Excellence in the Department of Biochemistry, Oxford (2013)
  • Onassis Foundation Graduate Scholarship (2005)
  • Gustav Born Graduate Scholarship in Biomedical Sciences (2005)
  • Leventis Foundation Graduate Scholarship (2004)
  • Bodossaki Graduate Scholarship in Science (2004)
  • Mari-Kamara Award for Excellence (2000)
  • Hellenic State Scholarships Foundation Award for Excellence (2000, 2001 and 2003)