Group research focus
Our research is focused on understanding the basic biology of autotransporters, outer membrane proteins typically found in bacterial pathogens responsible for infectious diseases such as diarrhoea, whooping cough, cholera, chlamydia, and bacterial meningitis. By blending microbiology, biochemistry and biophysics, we take a multidisciplinary approach to understand how autotransporters are assembled into bacterial outer membranes and how they function to mediate disease once they get there. We are also interested in reengineering autotransporters as recombinant protein production devices for use in basic research, biotechnology, or medical and pharmaceutical applications.
Teaching and research achievements
My most memorable research achievement is having been awarded the Australian Academy of Science Bede Morris Fellowship for Early Career Research in 2012. This fellowship funded a 12-week training visit to the Institut Pasteur in Paris and positively impacted my career in many ways; it led to new collaborations, top publications, and exciting new hypotheses that form the basis my current and future research efforts. Somewhat curiously, this fellowship also resulted in lunch with Tony Abbott, François Hollande, and someone much more enchanting… Manu Feildel from My Kitchen Rules!
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I find teaching incredibly rewarding in that I have the opportunity to stimulate interest and curiosity in Microbiology, my field of expertise and a subject that I am passionate about.
What do you enjoy most about research?
I feel incredibly privileged to be in the position where I am able to ask and then address the questions that drive my curiosity and research interests. I also enjoy the exciting anticipation of discovery that is triggered when all the pieces of the puzzle finally start to fall into place.