Lorena Fernández-Martínez

Lorena Fernández-Martínez working in a labI have always been fascinated about Biology, since an early age when I learned that Biology means the study of life and I felt that life was definitely worth studying! Later on, I became interested in genetics as a way of understanding molecular mechanisms and as an undergraduate student in Swansea University I finally developed my interest for the wonderful Streptomyces bacterial genus, it’s complex biology and intricate regulatory pathways which lead to the production of many useful compounds such as antibiotics.

After being an undergraduate in Swansea University I decided to continue my research in Prof. Paul Dyson’s laboratory, working on the regulation of stress responses in the bacterial genus Streptomyces, and obtaining my PhD in 2008.

I then moved onto a post-doctoral position in INBIOTEC, a biotechnology institute in León, Spain, working on signal transduction, genome sequencing and proteome analysis in Actinobacteria.

In 2011 I joined Prof. Mervyn Bibb’s research group as a post-doctoral scientist at the John Innes Centre working on the regulation of several antibiotics including chloramphenicol, cinnamycin and the medically relevant gene cluster leading to the production of the novel lantibiotic microbisporicin. I also developed genetic tools to work with actinomycetes and worked with Prof. Barrie Wilkinson studying virulence factors in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa in order to use these as potential drug targets.

In 2015 I joined the fantastic Biology Department at Edge Hill University where I am currently a Reader in Microbial Genetics.  I am also a final year tutor for all of the degree programmes in the Biology Department and Programme Leader for the BSc (Hons) Genetics programme.


My research interests are focused on understanding the complex regulatory pathways that lead to antibiotic production in Actinobacteria as well as the study of the regulation of resistance mechanisms in antibiotic producing bacteria (the likely source of clinically relevant antibiotic resistance). My research also focuses on activating silent specialised metabolite gene clusters in Actinobacteria by using gene manipulation, co-cultivation and environmental extracellular signalling methods in order to characterise new gene clusters encoding novel compounds with antibiotic activity.

To know more about my research group and current projects please visit the Actinomycetes Biology and Antibiotic discovery research page.


  • Molecular Genetics (Module Leader)
  • Introduction to Biotechnology (Tutor)
  • Laboratory Masterclass (Tutor)
  • Research Methods in Biology (Tutor)
  • Final Year Research Project (Module Leader)
  • Applications of Genetics (Tutor)

I also contribute to several taught sessions within the MRes in Science programme.


  • BSc (Hons) Genetics and Biochemistry (Swansea University)
  • BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (Universidad de Valencia, Spain)
  • PhD “Investigations into the osmotic stress response mediated by OsaB in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2)” (Swansea University)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (PGCTHE). Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since November 2017.


Lorena Fernández-Martínez
Biosciences building
Department of Biology
Edge Hill University
Ormskirk, Lancashire
L39 4QP
01695 584 215

Twitter address: @lore_fermar

Professional memberships

  • Microbiology Society member, where I was a member of the communications committee (September 2013 – December 2019) and I am currently a member of the Prokaryotic Division.
  • Society for Applied Microbiology member.
  • Royal Society of Biology member.


Journal Articles

Osbiston, K., Oxbrough, A. and Fernández-Martínez, L. (2020) Antibiotic resistance levels in soils from urban and rural land uses in Great Britain. Access Microbiol doi: 10.1099/acmi.0.000181

Fernández-Martínez, L.T. and Hoskisson, P.A. (2019) Expanding, integrating, sensing and responding: the role of primary metabolism in specialised metabolite production. Curr Opin Microbiol51:16-21. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2019.03.006.

Hoskisson, P.A. and Fernández-Martínez, L.T. (2018) Regulation of specialised metabolites in Actinobacteria – Expanding the paradigms. Environ Microbiol Rep. 10(3):231-238. doi: 10.1111/1758-2229.12629

Schniete, J.K., Cruz-Morales, P., Selem, N., Fernández-Martínez, L.T., Hunter, I.S., Barona-Gomez, F., and Hoskisson, P. (2018) Expanding primary metabolism helps generate the metabolic robustness to facilitate antibiotic biosynthesis in Streptomyces. mBio 9: e02283-17. doi: 10.1128/mBio.02283-17

Whitten M.M, Facey P.D, Del Sol R., Fernández-Martínez L.T., Evans M.C, Mitchell J.J, Bodger O.G and Dyson P.J. (2016) Symbiont-mediated RNA interference in insects. Proc Biol Sci. 283(1825):20160042. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2016.0042.

Fernández-Martínez L.T., Gomez-Escribano J.P. and Bibb M.J. (2015) A relA-dependent regulatory cascade for auto-induction of microbisporicin production in Microbispora corallina. Mol Microbiol. 97(3):502-14. doi: 10.1111/mmi.13046.

Fernández-Martínez L.T. and Bibb M.J. (2014) Use of the Meganuclease I-SceI of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to select for gene deletions in actinomycetes. Sci Rep. 4:7100. doi:10.1038/srep07100.

Fernández-Martínez L.T., Borsetto C., Gomez-Escribano J.P., Bibb M.J., Al-Bassam M.M., Chandra G. and Bibb M.J. (2014) New insights into chloramphenicol biosynthesis in Streptomyces venezuelae ATCC 10712. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 58:7441–7450. doi:10.1128/AAC.04272-14.

Santos-Beneit F, Fernández-Martínez LT, García AR, Martín-Martín S, Ordóñez-Robles M, Yagüe P, Manteca A, Martín JF. (2014) Transcriptional response to vancomycin in a highly vancomycin-resistant Streptomyces coelicolor mutant. Future Microbiol. 9:603-22.

Barreiro C, Prieto C, Sola-Landa A, Solera E, Martínez-Castro M, Pérez-Redondo R, García-Estrada C, Aparicio JF, Fernández-Martínez LT, Santos-Aberturas J, Salehi-Najafabadi Z, Rodríguez-García A, Tauch A, Martín JF. (2012) Draft genome of Streptomyces tsukubaensis NRRL 18488, the producer of the clinically important immunosuppressant tacrolimus (FK506). J Bacteriol. 194(14):3756-7

Fernández-Martínez LT, Santos-Beneit F, Martín JF. (2012) Is PhoR-PhoP partner fidelity strict? PhoR is required for the activation of the pho regulon in Streptomyces coelicolor. Mol Genet Genomics. 287(7):565-73.

Santos-Beneit F, Barriuso-Iglesias M, Fernández-Martínez LT, Martínez-Castro M, Sola-Landa A, Rodríguez-García A, Martín JF. (2011) The RNA polymerase omega factor RpoZ is regulated by PhoP and has an important role in antibiotic biosynthesis and morphological differentiation in Streptomyces coelicolor. Appl Environ Microbiol. 77(21):7586-94.

Martín, J.F, Sola-Landa, A., Santos-Beneit, F., Fernández-Martínez,  L.T., Prieto, C. and Rodríguez-García, A. (2011) Cross-talk of global nutritional regulators in the control of primary and secondary metabolism in Streptomyces. Microb Biotechnol. 4(2):165-74.

Fernández-Martínez LT, Del Sol R, Evans MC, Fielding S Herron PR, Chandra G and Dyson P. (2011) A transposon insertion single-gene knockout library and new ordered cosmid library for the model organism Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2). Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 99(3):515-22.

Akpe San Roman S., Facey P., Fernandez-Martinez L., Rodríguez C., Vallin C., Del So1 R. and Dyson P. (2010) A heterodimer of EsxA and EsxB is involved in sporulation and is secreted by a Type VII secretion system in Streptomyces coelicolor. Microbiology. 156(6):1719-29.

Facey, P., Hitchings, M., Saavedra-Garcia, P., Fernandez-Martinez, L., Dyson, P. and Del Sol, R. (2009) Streptomyces coelicolor Dps-like proteins: Differential dual roles in response to stress during vegetative growth and in nucleoid condensation during reproductive cell division. Mol. Microbiol 73(6):1186–1202.

Fernández-Martínez L, Bishop A, Parkes L., Del Sol R., Salerno P., Sevcikova B., Mazurakova V, Kormanec J and Dyson P. (2009) Osmoregulation in Streptomyces coelicolor: modulation of SigB activity by OsaC. Mol. Microbiol 71(5):1250-62

Other publications

Fernández-Martínez, L. T. (2019) Actinomycetes as nature’s pharmacists. Microbiology Today. November 2019.

Fernández-Martínez, L. T. & Hoskisson, P. A. (2017) Where have all the antimicrobials gone. Microbiologist. March 2017.

Hutchings, M. I. Fernández-Martínez, L. T. & Hoskisson, P. A. (2012). School zone – Antibiotics in action. Microbiology Today. November 2012.