Welcome to the Hutchings group website.

We are based at the John Innes Centre, on the Norwich Research Park in the East of England where we study filamentous actinomycete bacteria, such as Streptomyces species. These bacteria live in the soil and make lots of weird and wonderful molecules we call 'specialised metabolites'. They are important because 55% of the antibiotics we use in human medicine are derived from Streptomyces specialised metabolites but we know that these bacteria encode many more specialised metabolites than they make under laboratory growth conditions - we just don't know how to switch them on.

We want to understand:

1. Why these bacteria make specialised metabolites - what are they used for in their natural soil environment?

2. How plants recruit these bacteria to defend themselves against disease. We want to use Streptomyces bacteria to protect important crop plants like bread wheat

3. How to switch on all of their specialised metabolites so we can discover and develop new antibiotics.

Public engagement.

We love to talk to people about science and the grand challenges we are trying to address. These pictures show a recent event we did at the Natural History Museum in London (April 2019).

Natural History Museum Lates event on Nature's Pharmacy

Updated 01/07/20