About the Project
An aspect of bacterial populations that is just beginning to be fully appreciated is the heterogeneity of single cells in clonal populations. We are interested in determining the extent of this, how does this heterogeneity is generated and, what this contributes to the success of the population. Altering antigenicity is a common virulence strategy, and is often heterogenous. We focus on pathogenic Enterobacteriaceae, and identified the extent by which Salmonella modifies its immunodominant carbohydrate surface structure (LPS). We showed that expression is heterogenous, and elucidated the regulatory mechanism. We analysed structure-function relationship of the enzymes that mediate these cell surface changes. Projects that build upon this or work to elucidate the impact on the pathogen with the environment can be developed. Projects may be developed in a related area of interest on pathogenic E. coli. Approaches may include general microbiology, molecular biology, protein function (in collaboration), microbial genetics and phenotype analysis (range of tools and analyses), further enhanced by the University’s Technology Facility. This basic research aims to inform vaccine development strategies, enhance diagnostic approaches, and provide insights into pathogen evolution.
Projects related to these interests that involve other disciplines can be considered, as evidenced from recent interdisciplinary work on Contact-dependent inhibition. The lab’s publications can be accessed from www.hyms.ac.uk/about/people/Marjan-Van-der-Woude
Generic and subject specific research skills training will be provided, with further opportunities to enhance broader skills e.g. lab meetings, seminars, supervise undergraduate projects, and outreach.
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