The evolution of multidrug resistant bacterial pathogens

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Animal and Plant Sciences


The evolution of antibiotic resistance poses a serious global threat to human and
animal health. The emergence of multidrug resistant pathogens is often driven
by the spread of plasmids that encode genes giving resistance to multiple
antibiotics. However, gaining a plasmid is not always beneficial for the bacterium
because plasmids disrupt a wide range of cellular processes to cause large
fitness costs. An exciting possibility is that if we understood how these fitness
costs are caused we could exploit this weakness to select against resistance
plasmids, reducing the burden of antibiotic resistance. This project seeks to
understand the general rules governing how diverse resistance plasmids impact
cellular processes to create fitness costs in an important bacterial pathogen of
humans and animals. To do this we will use multiple cutting-edge omics
techniques (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) and
systems biology approaches in combination with experimental evolution and
molecular biology. The supervisory team combines expertise in microbiology,
evolutionary biology, biochemistry and mathematics. The project will provide a
broad interdisciplinary training with both wet-lab and dry-lab experience,
bioinformatics and computing skills.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011151/1 30/09/2015 29/09/2023
2277056 Studentship BB/M011151/1 30/09/2019 24/12/2023 Kathryn Billane