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Professor Stephen Bentley

Professor Stephen Bentley

Principal Scientist Bacterial Transmission

at The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute


Stephen joined the Sanger Institute in 1998 to work on the annotation and analysis of bacterial genomes notably Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitides showing that gene and genome variation between loci and species was due to common and differing mechanisms of variation. He also found that these variations could confound clinical interventions such as vaccines and antibiotics.

Stephen uses high-throughput sequencing to study transmission of bacterial pathogens over time and around the world. He is currently leading a global initiative to assess the impact of pneumococcal vaccination through sequencing 20,000 genomes from isolates collected pre- and post-vaccine implementation.

Stephen completed his PhD and postdoctoral work on the molecular genetics of cell division and virulence gene expression with Professor George Salmond at the Universities of Warwick and Cambridge.

His research team in based at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute which has a close working relationship with the University of Cambridge.

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The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute



Between 2013 and 2018, the Centre supported collaborative partnerships and scientific training activities in basic biomedical and health-related research. This was achieved through coordinated cross-faculty research across departments and research institutes in Cambridge including The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute