Dr Primrose Freestone (BSc (Hons), PhD, PGCE, FRSB, SFHEA, CSciTeach) is an Associate Professor in Clinical Microbiology and Inventor. She has been at Leicester University since an undergraduate student. She studied for a BSc in Biochemistry, and stayed on in the Biochemistry Department to undertake an enzymology PhD. After that, Primrose briefly left science to train at the School of Education down the road as a secondary science teacher, but after gaining her PGCE missed the lab life so much she came back to the then Microbiology and Immunology Department as a research fellow, eventually progressing to Lecturer and Associate Professor.
Primrose is a biochemist by training, with extensive experience in bacterial physiology and biochemistry, including bacterial protein phosphorylation (she was the first to identify tyrosine phosphorylation as a regulatory mechanism in bacteria). Currently, one of her main research interests are focused on the relationship between stress and infection. She is a co-founder and internationally recognised leader in the field of Microbial Endocrinology, a research discipline which represents the intersection of microbiology, endocrinology and neurophysiology. Microbial Endocrinology is directed at providing a new framework with which to examine and understand the ability of microorganisms to interact with a host in both health and disease. She co-published the first book on Microbial Endocrinology and has over 50 research papers.
More recently, Primrose’s interest have expanded to include food safety, and recently her paper on pathogen contamination of salad produce was a global media hit.