Defining the antimicrobial role of zinc and copper during infection
Study honours in molecular and biomedical science honours and investigate the impact of simultaneous fluxes of distinct metal ions during infection.
Our laboratory has identified and characterised the major zinc and copper transport systems in Acinetobacter baumannii, the world’s most problematic multi-drug resistant pathogen.
This proposed project aims to reveal the impact of simultaneous fluxes of distinct metal ions during infection, and how this affects bacterial pathogenesis. This is of primary interest as ratios of distinct metals are to be maintained within defined thresholds due to the synergistic antimicrobial activity of particular metal ion combinations, such as zinc and copper.
To study the impact of metal ion fluxes in the complex environment as seen during infection, we have successfully established a murine model of zinc deficiency and subsequent zinc supplementation. This model also holds clinical relevance due to the global significance of human zinc deficiency, which affects nearly 2 billion people.
Study with the Research Centre for Infectious Diseases
The Research Centre for Infectious Diseases (RCID) is a major initiative of the School of Biological Sciences and is central to the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology's 'infectious diseases' research theme.
RCID aims to be the pre-eminent Australian Centre of Excellence in research into the pathogenesis, treatment and prevention of bacterial infectious diseases, and to play a leading role in international collaborative efforts to fight these infections.
The study of bacterial pathogenesis has changed dramatically in recent years due to revolutionary technological developments and availability of advanced molecular and cellular tools for investigation of the pathogen-host interface.
The RCID brings together established and emerging researchers with synergistic skills that is rapidly accelerating basic research into bacterial infectious disease pathogenesis. This knowledge is also enabling us to translate basic discoveries into improved health outcomes. We are achieving this by focusing our research efforts in three specific areas:
- Basic bacterial pathogenesis and target discovery
- Vaccine development
- Novel anti-infectives and therapeutics
Co-supervisors: Professor Ian Paulsen - Macquarie University | Dr Amy Cain - Macquarie University | Dr Karl Hassan - University of Newcastle
Research area: Research Centre for Infectious Diseases
Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Molecular and Biomedical Science