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Mathematics and Statistics

Photo of Dr Jehangir Cama

Dr Jehangir Cama

Industry Research Fellow


Jehangir completed an undergraduate BSc. (Hons.) degree in Physics at St. Stephen's College, University of Delhi, before joining Trinity College, Cambridge to study Parts II and III of the Natural Sciences Tripos (Physics). He continued at Trinity and at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge for his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Ulrich Keyser, where he focused on understanding antibiotic transport across biomimetic membrane systems. This is of particular relevance for Gram-negative bacteria, whose double membrane cell envelope is a formidable permeability barrier that protects these cells from small molecule antibiotics. Understanding the physical processes governing Gram-negative drug permeation is a crucial challenge facing antibiotic developers, who are working to counteract the alarming spread of antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens across the globe. Jehangir continued this research as a PDRA in Prof. Keyser's group, and was also a Research Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge.

Besides studying antibiotic permeation, Jehangir is also part of a multi-centre consortium which includes participants from the National Physical Laboratory, the STFC Hartree Centre, IBM Research and the Universities of Cambridge and Exeter, that is developing a new pipeline of polypeptide antibiotics. These peptides circumvent the permeability barrier of Gram-negatives by directly attacking and lysing bacterial membranes. Jehangir is involved in the development of assays to quantify the efficacy and safety of these new drugs.  

Jehangir's technical expertise is in the development of microfluidic technologies for quantitative biology. His current projects include:

  • Quantifying antibiotic accumulation label-free in Gram-negative bacteria in well-defined microenvironments. Collaboration with Dr. Stefano Pagliara, Prof. Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova, Dr. Margaritis Voliotis and Dr. Jeremy Metz (LSI, Exeter) and Prof. Matthew Cooper and Dr. Mark Blaskovich (University of Queensland).
  • Quantifying antibiotic permeation across specific lipid and protein pathways using biomimetic lipid vesicles. Collaboration with Prof. Ulrich Keyser (Cambridge), Prof. Mathias Winterhalter (Jacobs University, Bremen) and Prof. Christopher Dowson (Warwick).
  • Developing assays to quantify the efficacy and safety of novel polypeptide antibiotics. Collaboration with Dr. Max Ryadnov (NPL, Teddington), Prof. Ulrich Keyser (Cambridge), Dr. Stefano Pagliara (LSI, Exeter), IBM Research, the STFC Hartree Centre, with further involvement from industry partners. 
  • Studying the biophysical aspects of indole signalling and its effects on bacterial metabolism. Collaboration with Dr. David Summers (Dept. of Genetics, Cambridge).

Jehangir joined the Living Systems Institute in Exeter in February 2019 as an Industry Research Fellow. In addition to his experimental research, he is working towards the development of research collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners in the field of antibiotic testing and development.  

Research Themes: Membrane transport, antibiotic resistance, microfluidics, label-free optical detection, bacterial signalling. 

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