Bacterial Genomics Research Group

The Bacterial Genomics Research Group, led by Dr Leah Roberts, aims to investigate clinically-important bacterial pathogens using genome sequencing technologies. This includes:
Image of Dr Leah Roberts
1. Identifying and tracking genomic markers for antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
2. Tracking pathogen transmission on a local and global scale
3. Developing new bioinformatics pipelines and databases for rapid sequencing-based diagnostics

Bacterial infections are becoming increasingly difficult to treat due to rising antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Hospital-acquired infections (HAI) are particularly problematic, as (i) hospitals house a large population of vulnerable patients, including those with weakened immune systems, and (ii) frequent use of antibiotics in hospitals creates a selective pressure promoting the existence of highly resistant bacteria. A review on AMR commissioned by the United Kingdom in 2014 predicted that deaths caused by antibiotic resistance would reach 10 million by the year 2050, far exceeding other causes such as Cancer or Diabetes. A more recent study published this year in the Lancet journal already estimated 5 million deaths globally associated with AMR in 2019, with the most prominent causative pathogens being those already frequency encountered in hospital settings.

Our research goal is to understand the spread of AMR pathogens and develop sequencing-based methods for the enhanced surveillance and intervention of ongoing transmission.

Research Staff

• Aasha McMurray Jones (RA)

Research Students

Anil Pokhrel (MPhil)
Yusuf Maulana Idres (PhD)

Previous group members

• Aasha McMurray Jones (VRES)
• Nhi Hoang (WIL)
• Mariam Thera (WIL)