Dr Johanna Kenyon

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Polysaccharide Capsule Research Group Leader

PhD (University of Sydney), Bachelor of Science (Molecular Biology and Genetics) (Hons) (University of Sydney)

Dr Johanna Kenyon completed her PhD in microbiology at The University of Sydney in 2012. Her PhD project, in the laboratory of Prof. Peter Reeves FAA, focused on the genetics of polysaccharides produced by the bacterial pathogen, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. In 2012, she took up a postdoctoral position at The University of Sydney with Prof. Ruth Hall OAM FAA, applying her skills in this field to unravel the complexities of surface polysaccharides produced by the nosocomial pathogen, Acinetobacter baumannii using whole genome sequence data. Prior to this, little was known about A. baumannii polysaccharides, and her work established the foundations of this field through the characterisation of the genomic locus that directs the synthesis of the capsular polysaccharide (CPS). Since this time, she has discovered two novel sugars in the CPS of A. baumannii that had never been found before in nature. She joined Queensland University of Technology in 2015 as a Lecturer in Microbiology and Bioinformatics, and in 2018,  was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) DECRA Fellowship to study the biosynthesis pathways of complex carbohydrates produced by A. baumannii. She continues her work as the leader of the Bacterial Polysaccharide Research Group at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI).

Additional information

Dr Johanna Kenyon has more than 10 years research and teaching experience, and currently leads the Bacterial Polysaccharides Research Group in the Faculty of Health at Queensland University of Technology. Her research is dedicated to the glycomics of important Gram-negative pathogens, including the clinically significant pathogen, Acinetobacter baumannii. Her focused career trajectory has enabled the development of a specialised body of work and an extensive repertoire of experimental and bioinformatics skills relating to bacterial surface polysaccharide genetics, biosynthesis and biochemical properties. She maintains collaborations with structural collaborators in Russia and Italy, as well as with geneticists and bacterial polysaccharide experts at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Type
Recipient of an Australia Council Grant or Australia Council Fellowship
Reference year
2018
Details
Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) Fellowship
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2017
Details
ASM Jim Pittard Early Career Award
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2015
Details
CASS Foundation Travel Award
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2013
Details
ASM Burnet-Hayes Award
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2013
Details
Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS) Young Scientists Travel Award
Title
The Sweet Road to Synthesis of Bacterial Sugar Structures
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
DE180101563
Start year
2018
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