Dr Lambs' current research interests focus on:

1. Development of novel antimicrobial wound dressings

An on going research interest has involved development of a novel vehicle for topical application of antibacterials for wound healing. This has involved production and evaluation of novel wafer formulations impregnated with selected antimicrobials as potential wound dressings to treat infections caused by organisms such as MRSA. This collaborative project is being undertaken with my colleague Dr Kerr Matthews.

2. Novel antimicrobial technologies

Due to a decline in the research and development interests of Big Pharma in the field of antimicrobial agents, the effective arsenal of chemical antimicrobial agents has been in decline since the early 1990s.  A novel modality not involving chemical therapeutics to combat bacterial pathogens has been developed at RGU.  A collaborative study was undertaken in 2013with an Scottish SME involved in chocolate manufacture to sterilise cocoa beans to remove potential contamination by Salmonella in the final product.  Results have confirmed the system has a profound antibacterial effect, and the research study is continuing.

3. Investigation of antibacterial activity of cationic antimicrobial agents

Widespread use of Triclosan has prompted concern regarding the potential for development of resistance has been raised. With a reasonably well characterised mode of action, the action of this agent upon Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa is being examined. Data collected for these investigations have uncovered previously unknown effects. This work has also involved detailed examination of the polymyxin antibiotic colistin, along with some proprietary antimicrobial peptides.

4. Bacterial Contamination within Clean Room Environments

Clean rooms are facilities that are by design, intended to be free from microbial contamination to enable the preparation of sterile medications such as injections.  The main source of bacterial contamination within such facilities is the operator, with the human body the primary source of such bacterial organisms.  Recently a project has been initiated to investigate the level and nature of bacterial contamination of clean room operatives and their sterile clothing.

5. Veterinary Pharmacy

The controversy surrounding the spread of bovine tuberculosis by badgers highlight the very important nature of this area. Zoonotic disease and the spread of ecto and endoparasites and the use of antimicrobial agents is an area that requires to be more fully appreciated.  Despite colistin being a last line therapy for resistant strains of P. aeruginosa, veterinary use of this antibiotic is almost unrestricted.  The recent goal to develop a One Medicine approach should be supported and research into this neglected field has recently been commenced.

Potential MSc and PhD Projects


Dr Lamb has successfully supervised several PhD students to completion and in 2003 was awarded the Certificate of Accreditation by the Training and Accreditation Programme for Postgraduate Supervisors (TAPPS) Scheme overseen by BBSRC. He can offer supervision to potential PhD students in various aspects of the microbiological investigations aligned to the projects listed above.

Conference Materials

Download the Novel Antimicrobial Agents (RGU, 15/06/10 conference presentation materials.