We use functional genomics, proteomics, next generation sequencing and imaging to study bacterial pathogens. Our research is broad and multidisciplinary, from understanding individual bacterial proteins, studying the within-host population dynamics of bacteria, understanding the host response to infection, and developing vaccines and therapeutics. Ongoing projects which could support a studentship include: Within-host ecology, adaptation and evolution of bacteria during infection: Understanding how salmonellae exit host cells in vivo and how this affects redistribution within the host, the establishment of new foci and the infection. Including, 1) Optimisation of techniques to isolate individual host cells from infected organs containing different numbers of bacteria; 2) In vivo transcriptome analysis of bacteria and host cells during infection at the sub-population and single cell level Antibiotic resistance: 1) To develop an in vivo model to monitor genetic evolution of bacteria during infection in the presence of antibiotics; 2) To study the population biology and transcriptome of 'persister' bacteria, and the host cells in which they are found, during antibiotic treatment. Therapeutics and vaccines: 1) We are investigating some novel live attenuated Salmonella vaccines; 2) We are developing a novel Campylobacter spp. immunotherapeutic. Enhancing food safety and food security: We are using a systems based approach (including TnSeq and RNAseq) to investigate how bacterial pathogens grow/survive from "farm-to-fork". Basic understanding of bacteria: We are studying the mechanisms that dictate the spiral shape of Campylobacter, as well as the importance of cell shape in colonisation and pathogenesis of animals and humans, and a route for intervention.
- Grant AJ, Restif O, McKinley TJ, Sheppard M, Maskell DJ, and Mastroeni P. (2008) Modelling within-host spatiotemporal dynamics of invasive bacterial disease. PLoS Biol. 6, e74
- Grant AJ, Morgan FJE, McKinley TJ, Foster GL, Maskell DJ, Mastroeni P. Attenuated Salmonella Typhimurium lacking the pathogenicity island-2 type 3 secretion system grow to high bacterial numbers inside phagocytes in mice. (2012) PLoS Pathog. 8(12): e1003070
- Mastroeni P and Grant A. Dynamics of spread of Salmonella enterica in the systemic compartment. (2013) Microbes. Infect. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2013.10.003