Professor Neil Gow

Chair in Microbiology

BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences, Edinburgh 1979. PhD, Aberdeen 1983, FRS, FRSE, FSB, FAAM

Professor Neil Gow

Contact Details

Telephone: +44 (0)1224 437460
+44 (0)1224 437483
Address: Professor Neil AR Gow, FRS, FRSE, FSB, FAAM,  Institute of Medical Sciences - Room 4.16, School of Medicine Medical Sciences and Nutrition,  Foresterhill, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, Scotland, UK

Wellcome Trust Strategic Award (WTSA) for Medical Mycology and Fungal Immunology (MMFI). Director: Professor Neil Gow


Prof. Neil Gow FMedSci FRSE FIBiol FAAM

Professor Gow graduated with a B.Sc. from Edinburgh University in 1979 and a Ph.D. from Aberdeen University. He was a research fellow in Denver, before returning to Aberdeen as a faculty member in 1984.

He is a founding member of the Aberdeen Fungal Group and contributed to building this group to its current status as one of the largest centres of excellence for medical mycology. Recently the AFG acquired MRC Centre Status in Medical Mycology for which he is Co-Director for research (Director Professor Gordon Brown). Under his direction this group was awarded a Wellcome Trust Strategic to coordinate research and training activity and build capacity in the field of medical mycology and fungal immunology across the UK and in developing countries.

He holds a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award and, along with Daan van Aalten, a recent Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award. He is a fellow of the Royal Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences, Institute of Biology, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the American Academy of Microbiologists and is a former President of the British Mycological Society and of of ISHAM (the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology).

He is the current President of the Microbiology Society (2016-2019). He was a recent Editor in Chief of Fungal Genetics and Biology and helped establish the new ISHAM journal Medical Mycology Case Reports.

Research Interests

Professor Gow's research is focussed on: (i) the molecular genetics of cell wall biosynthesis in pathogenic fungi - in particular the genetics of glycosylation and the fungus-host interaction in relation to immune recognition and function, (ii) chitin synthesis and the response to antifungal agents; (iii) directional growth responses of fungal cells; (iv) the virulence properties of medically important fungal species; (v) the evolution, genome biology and genotyping of Candida species.  He has published over 300 research papers and reviews in these areas. 





Current Research

Professor Gow has recently been awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award (starts 2013).  A summary of this programme of research is given below.

Title:  Making and breaking the walls of fungal pathogens

The cell wall of fungal pathogens determines their pathobiology and immunological signatures.  It is the ideal target for chemotherapies and immunotherapies because all the major cell wall components are essential and fungal-specific.  Professor Gow wishes to inform therapeutic strategies through an understanding of how the cell wall is assembled and how it is recognised by the immune system.  He will investigate key assembly processes and functions of the extended gene families that articulate cell wall, and deploy novel screens, phenotyping methods and in vitro synthetic biology approaches to dissect the functions of key families of cell wall genes.  The programme of research will also define chemical structure of cell wall molecules that stimulate, attenuate and imprint the innate and adaptive responses of the immune system.  Combinations of host and pathogen functional analysis tools are being used to study the key immunologically relevant cell wall glycoconjugates.  These complementary approaches advances our understanding of therapeutically tractable targets of the cell wall, and will inform the design of new generations of therapeutics and diagnostics.

Current Research Group:

 Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Group:  Dr Bhawna Yadav; Dr Katja Schaefer, Dr Kathy Lee, Dr Alessandra Dantas, Dr Fiona Rudkin, Mr Iain Cunningham (+ 1 vacancy)

Wellcome Trust Strategic Award: Dr Jeanette Wagener; Dr Karen McArdle (Administrator)

PhD Students: Mariana Almeida (FungiBrain); Jehan Abdelmoneim (AU); Fernanda Alonso (WTSA); Ingrida Raziunaite (AU); Mohammed Haider; Natalie Lyall

External Responsibilities

Past President: International Society for Human and Animal Mycology (ISHAM)

Admin Responsibilities

Director of Research and Commercialisation - College of Life Sciences and Medicine

Director of the Wellcome Trust Strategic Award (WTSA)  for Medical Mycology and Fungal Immunology (MMFI)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow Postion Available





RESEARCH FELLOW  (post starts March 2017)

 We are offering an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated Research Fellow to work on a project grant recently funded by The Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award scheme.  In this project we aim to target the “Achilles heel” of fungal cell wall synthesis – the production of the sugar nucleotides UDP-Glc, UDPGlcNAc and GDP-Man that is part of the essential wall biosynthetic machinery. Using state of-the-art techniques including CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing we will genetically, structurally and chemically validate C. albicans enzymes from these sugar nucleotide biosynthetic pathways as antifungal targets. This project will run in parallel, and complement research, by our partners at Dundee who will use “fragment based inhibitor discovery” and “structural proteomics” – to generate novel inhibitors.

 This is a collaborative project between the laboratories of Professors Neil Gow, (University of Aberdeen) and Daan van Aalten (University of Dundee).

 You must hold a PhD or equivalent degree and be experienced in in vivo models of arthritis.

 This post is funded by the The Wellcome Trust and will be available for three years in the first instance. 

Salary will be paid on the Grade 6 salary scale (£31,656 per annum) with placement according to qualifications and experience. Consideration will be given to making an appointment at Research Assistant, Grade 5 level in the first instance (£26,537- £29,847 per annum) for individuals in the final stages of completing their PhD.

 Informal enquiries may be made to Professor Neil Gow (

Should you require a visa to undertake paid employment in the UK you will be required to fulfil the minimum points criteria to be granted a Certificate of Sponsorship and Tier 2 visa.  As appropriate, at the time an offer of appointment is made you will be asked to demonstrate that you fulfil the criteria in respect of financial maintenance and competency in English. Please do not hesitate to contact Miss Natalie Reid, Human Resources Adviser (, for further information on this.

To apply online for this position visit  (not yet open)

Job Reference Numbers: IMS046R

 The closing date for the receipt of applications will be advertised shortly. 

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