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Collaborations


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Dr. Matthew I. Gibson | Photorhabdus Virulence Cassette Project

Chemistry Department, University of Warwick

Matt Gibson is a synthetic and polymer chemist whose primary research interest is marrying organic and polymer chemistries to the life sciences for the creation of smart biomaterials, biomimetics and nanotechnologies. Matt's collaboration with the Waterfield group is through joint supervison of the MOAC CDT PhD student Joe Healey, and out of this project a Leverhulme grant was successfully applied for. Collaboration with Matt supplements the advanced molecular and synthetic biology going on in the group, with powerful conjugative 'bio-orthogonal' chemistries, allowing us to produce truely novel and synthetic systems - synthetic biology in its purest form.

Prof. Peter Scott | Novel Anti-Biological Compound Research

Chemistry Department, University of Warwick

Peter Scott is a synthetic metallo-organic chemist here at Warwick. His research interests involve the use of interesting metal chemical groups to confer unusual structure to complexes - creating helical and chiral molecules. These are applied to problems within biomedicine, materials science and catalysis among others. Work with the Waterfield group has looked at assaying the compounds against various cell types and hosts, be they amoebae, insects or pathogenic bacteria.

Dr. Cristophe Corre | Photorhabdus Natural Product Discovery

School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick

Christophe Corre is a chemical biologist with an interest in natural product discovery, particularly aimed at trying to resolve the gulf that is appearing in our available and effective antimicrobials. His group use "genome mining", largely of Streptomyces spp. to attempt to find novel compounds. The collaboration with the Waterfield group has turned attention on to Photorhabdus, who, like Streptomyces, is a prolific producer of antibiotics, toxins and other small molecules. The same approaches are being applied in the hunt for new compounds.

Dr. Guowei Yang | Type 6 Secretion System and Photorhabdus Virulence Cassette Research

Institute of Pathogen Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College

Guowei Yang is an international collaborator based in China and was a previous Post-Doctoral researcher in the Waterfield lab at Bath. With Nick, he was the first to work on and begin characterising the Photorhabdus Virulence Cassettes. Yang has maintained an interest in Photorhabdus and the PVCs in particular and works on them currently. He and Nick continue to collaborate on other toxin and secretion systems.

Prof. Helge Bode | Photorhabdus Natural Product Discovery

Buchmann Centre for Life Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt

Helge Bode is a chemical biologist and has been a collaborator with the Waterfield group for some time. His main research interests lie in natural product and pathway characterisation from various natural product producers, but with a particular emphasis on entomopathogens. His group also try to transition from discovery to synthesis by replicating discovered compounds using, for example, solid phase peptide synthesis. The interest in entomopathogens is where the Waterfield research interests and Bode group interests combine, as Photorhabdus is a ruthlessly effective insect killer.

Prof. Petra Oyston | Evolution of the Anthrax-like Bacillus cereus G9241

Defense Science and Technology Laboratory, Porton Down

Petra Oyston is the principle scientist in the DSTL's Biomedical Sciences division. Her work overlaps with that of the Waterfield group in addressing the evolution of pathogenic microorganisms. More specifically, the current project concerns a Bacillus strain which is capable of causing lethal infections very similar to Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis), yet is phylogenetically a cereus species. She is co-supervisor to Tom Brooker in the Waterfield group.

Dr. Geraldine Mulley | Evolution of Pathogenicity and Adaptation in Photorhabdus

School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading

Geraldine Mulley was a previous Post-Doctoral researcher when the Waterfield group was at Bath. Her work and research interest centres on the molecular biology mechanisms necessary for the emergence of pathogenicity, transitioning of species barriers and so on. She maintains a research interest in Photorhabdus, occaisionally having students conduct experiments. Her research currently overlaps with Alexia's: the genetic and mechanistic basis of thermotolerance in the human pathogenic strains of Photorhabdus.

Dr. Jean van den Elsen & Dr. Marjorie Gibbon | Development of Insect Models for Protein Glycation Damage

Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath

Based in Nick's previous faculty, this collaboration aims to use insects and good model organisms for studying glycation damage to proteins. Dr. van den Elsen has research interests in glycation in general, and the role it plays in pathology including how it influences and is influenced by the complement cascade and microbial immune evasion. Marjorie Gibbon has similar interests and currently researches how blood sugar levels affect immune response.

Dr. David Clarke | Fundamental Photorhabdus Biology

Alimentary Pharmbiotic Centre, University College Cork

A long time collaborator on the topic of Photorhabdus, Dr. David Clarke's research interests centre on host-pathogen interactions, of which Photorhabdus is an excellent model; he also looks at the role of E. coli in Crohns' disease progression. Interests further overlap in the area of 'bio-prospecting' of genomes for useful compounds.

Prof. Patricia Stock | Nematode Models and Photorhabdus PirAB Binary Toxins

University of Arizona

Prof. Stock's research interests are in entomopathology and the use of nematode-pathogen and insect-pathogen interactions as model systems. Additionally, her group is generally interested in the fundamental biology of entomopathogenic nematodes. PirAB toxins are binary toxins identified in Photorhabdus luminescens which confer cytotoxicity. The Waterfield group frequently uses the same model organisms and has an interest in developing these as models, as well as understanding the myriad of toxins produced by the species.

Dr. Steve Dorus | Genomics of Photorhabdus

Department of Biology, University of Syracuse

Dr. Dorus' research is primarily focussed on the evolution of the genome, epigenome and proteome in sexual and asexual reproduction. Photorhabdus is a model asexual system for genome exploration. Collaboration with Nick started when Dr. Dorus was a lecturer in evolutionary biology at Bath.

Dr. Colin Berry & Prof. Les Baillie | Insecticidal Toxin and Bacillus Pathogenicity Research

University of Cardiff

Colin Berry's research focuses on the use of insect pathogens and their toxins (including Bacillus in the control of insect pests and parasites. Les Baillie's main career research focus has been on Anthrax (immune responses/pathogenicity etc.), and the development of vaccines. Prof. Baillie is a former principle scientist at the DSTL, and the research overlaps with Tom's PhD investigating the pathogenicity background of B. cereus G9241.