Lecturer and Conway Fellow
University College Dublin, Ireland
Vaccine antigen identification via proteomic approaches, Burkholderia host interactions; chronic infection; bacterial adaptation
I have a key interest in host pathogens associated with respiratory pathogens that cause opportunistic infections. In recent years we have exploited this knowledge and applied it to the identification of new vaccine antigens and vaccine development. For many years I have focused on Burkholderia cepacia complex. This is a highly antimicrobial resistant pathogen that causes infections in people with cystic fibrosis and effective treatments are challenging. As a result of our investigations on mechanisms of attachment of this pathogen to lung epithelial cells, we identified a number of bacterial adhesins, which have shown promise in vivo as potential vaccine candidates. Following this we have also identified vaccine antigens that were protective against Burkholderia pseudomallei and are in the process of developing these with a view to Phase I studies.
I also have an interest host responses to mucosal infection, mechanisms of pathogenesis and mechanisms of bacterial adaptation which facilitate chronic colonisation.
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