2018/2019: Liam Rooney
Liam is a final year PhD student at the University of Strathclyde in the labs of Prof. Gail McConnell and Prof. Paul Hoskisson. Liam’s research focuses on novel applications of advanced optical microscopy methods to the field of microbiology. While at the JAM talks Liam presented his findings on a novel nutrient uptake system in Escherichia coli biofilms that he had identified and characterised using a new type of microscope called the Mesolens. This uptake system takes the form of channel structures which permeate the structure of the biofilm and facilitate transport of substances from the external environment into the biofilm. It is hoped in the future that this function can be exploited for uptake of biofilm dispersal agents or antimicrobial compounds.
As the winner of JAM talks in 2018/2019, he was traditionally invited to present his work at the 6th Midlands Molecular Microbiology Meeting (M4) at the University of Nottingham in September 2019.
Spring 2018: Michael Bottery
Michael is a post-doctoral research associate at the University of York interested in evolutionary microbiology. At the JAM talks he presented recent work from his PhD demonstrating that co-evolution following the acquisition of a resistance plasmid can led to high level, low-cost antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli. However, adaptation can also cause co-dependency between the plasmid and host that may limit the onward spread of co-adapted plasmids to other lineages.
As the winner of JAM talks in 2018, he was invited to present his work at the 5th Midlands Molecular Microbiology Meeting (M4) in Warwick in September 2018.
2017: Vera Pader
Vera is a PhD student in Dr. Andrew Edward’s laboratory at Imperial College London. Her project focuses on the link between antibiotic resistance and virulence in Staphylococcus aureus, a major pathogen of humans and animals. During her PhD, she discovered that S. aureus can inactivate daptomycin by releasing membrane phospholipids, which act as decoys for the antibiotic, and that this contributes to treatment failure.
As the winner of JAM talks 2017, Vera was invited to present her work at the 5th Molecular Microbiology Meeting and 4th Midlands Molecular Microbiology Meeting (M4) in Birmingham in September 2017.