Liam Shaw

Email: liam [dot] philip [dot] shaw [at]

Hello! I'm a researcher in computational biology at University College London, based in the Computational Biology Group.

My research focuses on analysing and modelling microbial communities within our bodies and beyond. I'm particularly interested in the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

After a 4 year undergraduate degree in physics at Oxford University I then completed a Masters in 'Modelling Biological Complexity' at UCL CoMPLEX in 2014.

I have an old blog and GitHub page.


† = equal contribution.
I sporadically update this list, but also see my Google scholar profile.

The global distribution and spread of the mobilized colistin resistance gene mcr-1.
R. Wang†, L. van Dorp†, L. Shaw†, P. Bradley, Q. Wang, X. Wang, L. Jin, Q. Zhang, Y. Liu, A. Rieux, T. Dorai-Schneiders, L. Weinert, Z. Iqbal, X. Didelot, H. Wang, F. Balloux (2018)
Nature Communications (in press) doi: 10.1101/220921

Deep sequencing of oral microbiomes from hunter-gatherers and traditional agriculturalists reveals shifts in commensal taxon balance and pathogen load linked to subsistence strategy.
F. Lassalle†, M. Spagnoletti†, M. Fumagalli, L. Shaw, M. Dyble, C. Walker, M.G. Thomas, A. Bamberg Migliano, F. Balloux (2018)
Molecular Ecology doi: 10.1111/mec.14435

Periapical infection may affect birth outcomes via systemic inflammation.
U. Harjunmaa, R. Doyle, J. Järnstedt, S. Kamiz, J.M. Jorgensen, C.P. Stewart, L. Shaw, L. Hallamaa, U. Ashorn, N. Klein, K.G. Dewey, K. Maleta, P. Ashorn (2018)
Oral Diseases doi: 10.1111/odi.12817

A perturbation model of the gut microbiome’s response to antibiotics.
L. Shaw, C. Barnes, N. Klein, A. Sarah Walker, F. Balloux (2017)
bioRxiv doi: 10.1101/222398

The oral microbiome (review).
L. Shaw, A. Smith, A. Roberts (2017)
Emerging Topics in Life Sciences doi: 10.1042/ETLS20170040

The human oral microbiome is shaped by shared environment rather than genetics: evidence from a large family of closely-related individuals
L. Shaw†, A. Ribeiro†, A. Levine, N. Pontikos, F. Balloux, A. Segal, A. Roberts, A. Smith (2017)
mBio doi: 10.1101/131086

Transient structural variations have strong effects on quantitative traits and reproductive isolation in fission yeast
D. Jeffares, C. Jolly, M. Hoti, D. Speed, C. Rallis, L. Shaw, F. Balloux, C. Dessimoz, J. Bahler, F. Sedlazeck (2016)
Nature Communications doi: 10.1038/ncomms14061

Distinguishing the signals of gingivitis and periodontitis in supragingival plaque: a cross-sectional cohort study in Malawi
L. Shaw, U. Harjunmaa, R. Doyle, S. Mulewa, D. Charlie, K. Maleta, R. Callard, A. S. Walker, F. Balloux, P. Ashorn, N. Klein (2016)
Applied and Environmental Microbiology doi: 10.1128/AEM.01756-16

DNA hairpins destabilize duplexes primarily by promoting melting rather than by inhibiting hybridization
J. Schreck, T. Ouldridge, F. Romano, P. Sulc, L. Shaw, A. Louis, J. Doye (2015)
Nucleic Acids Research doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv582


Here are some lectures I've given:
The human microbiome and antibiotic resistance (1st year undergraduate)
The human microbiome and disease (graduate)

For more resources (within UCL) see the relevant Moodle pages.


Since 2016 I've been an ambassador for Ask for Evidence, a campaign to try and make companies, politicians, commentators and official bodies more accountable for factual claims. I give talks about this organised by Sense about Science. I also quite occasionally give more general talks about science, society, statistics, and even things not beginning with 's'. If you want me to give a talk, feel free to get in touch.

Alongside my academic work, I'm interested in the social and political aspects of science and technology. I also enjoy thinking about the possibilities for improving healthcare with technology (particularly in the context of the evidence-based medicine movement), as well as the possibilities for making healthcare much worse.

Outside my academic work, I have other interests.

Website theme courtesy of here.