Coventry University | Jess Rollason

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Dr. Jess Rollason

Lecturer in Biomolecular Sciences

My Research Vision

The main focus of my current research is the association of the bacterium, Propionibacterium acnes, with lower back pain and lumbar discitis. The collaborative team includes  Coventry University, Aston University, University Hospital NHS Trust Birmingham, the Spine Centre Southern Denmark and Queens University Belfast. This exciting and novel research has demonstrated a possible causal link between localised bacterial colonisation (Propionibacterium acne) in excised disc tissue from patients with discitis. Work is currently ongoing to determine the bacterial virulence mechanisms which may facilitate localised lumbar disc infections and associated pain.


I am currently a lecturer in Biomolecular Sciences at Coventry University. My research interests include Clinical Microbiology, Molecular Microbiology, Antimicrobial Therapy and Environmental Microbiology. My recent projects include the association of Propionibacterium acnes with back pain and discitis, antimicrobial activity of natural compounds, the effect of antimicrobials upon bacterial virulence, molecular epidemiology of MRSA, bacterial population studies in wildfowl species and the effect of hydrocarbon based pollutants upon soil microbial diversity.

Science communication and community engagement is an important part of my academic career. During my PhD and post-doctoral research at Aston University (2004-2010) I participated in the ‘Microbiology in Schools’ scheme funded by the Wellcome Trust and played a key role in the establishment of the Postgraduate and Early Career Scientist Committee for the Society for Applied Microbiology. In addition whilst at Aston University I played an on screen role in an eight-part television series called Grime Scene Investigation broadcast on BBC3 in 2006. At Coventry University I have continued to participate in Schools Liaisons and A Level Nuffield Bursary summer placements. I have also secured external funding from the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy and the Society for Applied Microbiology, for undergraduate summer laboratory placements.



  • Effect of antimicrobials upon bacterial biofilm formation and virulence gene expression: In collaboration with Coventry University (final year projects), Aston University and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. 
  • Antimicrobial activity of natural compounds: The role and mechanisms of action of artemisinin analogues and artemisia essential oil- BSAC Vacation Scholarship and Coventry University. 
  • Bacterial population studies in wildfowl species: Coventry University (final year projects) and Aston University. 
  • The effect of hydrocarbon based pollutants upon soil microbial diversity: Coventry University (MSc project).
Research breakout image

Lecturer in Biomolecular Sciences

Building: James Starley
Room: JS135
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