Professor Sharon Peacock


of Clinical Microbiology

Keppel Street
United Kingdom

Sharon Peacock was previously Professor of Clinical Microbiology in the Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge (2009-2015), and head of bacterial diseases research at the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme in Bangkok (2003-2009). Her research group are located at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute where she is an honorary faculty member, and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. 


2015    Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for services to medical microbiology

2015    Elected Member of EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organisation)

2015    Listed in 50 Movers & Shakers in BioBusiness, BioBeat

2014    Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology

2013    Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences

2013    Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology

2005    Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists

2002    Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London



Honorary Faculty Member, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Honorary Consultant Microbiologist, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge

Visiting Professor of Clinical Microbiology, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand


Department of Pathogen Molecular Biology
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases


The Peacock group are evaluating the use of microbial whole genome sequencing in diagnostic and public health microbiology, including its application to outbreak investigation and antimicrobial prescribing. They are also undertaking a series of genome-based studies to identify reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance in healthcare facilities, farms, the food chain and the environment. Several members of her group use bacterial genome-wide association studies to explore mechanisms of bacterial transmission and disease. Members of the Peacock group are also working on the biological basis of carriage of the common human pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus.

 Sharon has a long-term interest in melioidosis and the causative bacterium (Burkholderia pseudomallei) and has published around 150 papers on the topic. These are broad ranging in subject matter and include clinical epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, routes of infection, preventive guidelines, molecular epidemiology and environmental sampling. Her group are currently using a combination of sequence-based methods and other laboratory approaches to understand the mechanisms by which B. pseudomallei causes disease.

The group are funded by the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, and the Department of Health.


Selected publications

1.      Moradigaravand D, Reuter S, Martin V, Peacock SJ, Parkhill J. The dissemination of multidrug resistant Enterobacter cloacae throughout the UK and Ireland. Nature Microbiol. In press.

 2.      Raven KE, Reuter S, Gouliouris T, Reynolds R, Russell JE, Brown NM, Török ME,Parkhill J,Peacock SJ. Whole-genome sequencing defines the population structure and evolution of vancomycin resistance in Enterococcus faecalis. Nature Microbiol. 2016;1:15033.

3.      Limmathurotsakul D, Golding N, Dance DA, Messina JP, Pigott DM, Moyes CL, Rolim DB, Bertherat E, Day NP, Peacock SJ, Hay SI. Predicted global distribution of Burkholderia pseudomallei and burden of melioidosis. Nature Microbiol. 2016;1(1):15008.

4.      Reuter S, Török ME, Holden MT, Reynolds R, Raven KE, Blane B, Donker T, Bentley SD, Aanensen DM, Grundmann H, Feil EJ, M. Spratt BG, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ. Building a genomic framework for prospective MRSA surveillance in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Genome Res. 2016;26:263-70.

5.      Tong SY, Holden MT, Nickerson EK, Cooper BS, Köser CU, Cori A, Jombart T, Cauchemez S, Fraser C, Wuthiekanun V, Thaipadungpanit J, Hongsuwan M, Day NP, Limmathurotsakul D,Parkhill J, Peacock SJ. Genome sequencing defines phylogeny and spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a high transmission setting. Genome Res. 2015;25:111-8. 

6.      Chetchotisakd P, Chierakul W, Chaowagul W, Anunnatsiri S, Phimda K, Mootsikapun P, Chaisuksant S, Pilaikul J, Thinkhamrop B, Piphitaporn S, Susaengrat W, Toondee C, Wongrattanacheewin S, Wuthiekanun V, Thaipadungpanit J, Day NP, Limmathurotsakul D, Peacock SJ. Trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole versus trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole plus doxycycline as oral eradicative treatment for melioidosis (MERTH): a multicentre, double-blind, non-inferiority, randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2014;383:807-814.

7.      Köser CU, Bryant JM, Becq J, Török ME, Ellington MJ, Marti-Renom MA, Carmichael AJ, Parkhill J, Smith GP, Peacock SJ. Whole-genome sequencing for rapid susceptibility testing of M. tuberculosis. New Engl J Med. 2013;369:290-292.

8.      Harris SR, Cartwright EJP, Török ME, Holden MT, Brown NM, Ogilvy-Stuart AL, Ellington MJ, Quail MA, Bentley SD, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ. Whole-genome sequencing for analysis of an outbreak of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: a descriptive study. Lancet Infect Dis. 2013;13:130-6.

9.      Köser CU, Holden MTG, Ellington MJ, Cartwright EJP, Brown NM, Ogilvy-Stuart AL, Hsu LY, Chewapreecha C, Croucher NJ, Harris SR, Sanders M, Enright MC, Dougan G, Bentley SD, Parkhill J, Fraser LJ, Betley JR, Schulz-Trieglaff OB, Smith GP, Peacock SJ. Rapid whole-genome sequencing for investigation of a neonatal MRSA outbreak. New Engl J Med. 2012;363:2267-2275.

10.    Chantratita N, Rholl DA, Sim B, Wuthiekanun V, Limmathurotsakul D, Amornchai P, Thanwisai A, Chua HH, Ooi WF, Holden MT, Day NP, Tan P, Schweizer HP, Peacock SJ. Antimicrobial resistance to ceftazidime involving loss of penicillin-binding protein 3 in Burkholderia pseudomallei. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2011;108:17165-70.

Research Area
Drug resistance
Global Health
Molecular epidemiology
Disease and Health Conditions
Infectious disease
Hospital acquired infection
Tropical diseases
United Kingdom