Dr. Julian Parkhill is currently Head of Pathogen Genomics at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Over the last decade or so, his group has analysed the genomes of many bacteria of fundamental importance for human health, including the causative agents of tuberculosis, plague, typhoid fever, whooping cough, leprosy, botulism, diphtheria and meningitis, as well as nosocomial pathogens such as Clostridium difficile and MRSA, and food-borne pathogens such as Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella Typhimurium and Yersinia enterocolitica. Their current research focuses on the application of high-throughput sequencing techniques to microbiology. They are currently sequencing very large collections of bacterial isolates with broad geographic and temporal spreads, linking genomic variation to epidemiology, acquisition of drug resistance and recent evolution. In addition, they are working with local and national clinical microbiology groups to build the foundations for the transfer of microbial sequencing to clinical and public health investigations. They are also applying sequencing technologies to phenotypic investigations, particularly saturation transposon mutagenesis, transcriptomics and high-throughput phenotyping. They collaborate widely, particularly with groups in developing countries where infectious diseases are endemic.