I am an immunologist and microbiologist with an interest in microbial infections of the respiratory tract. In particular, my research focuses on Streptococcus pneumoniae, a leading cause of pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the major pathogen of the cystic fibrosis lung and a common cause of hospital-acquired infection. I am interested in understanding how these pathogens can live as harmless commensals in the upper reaches of the respiratory tract and what factors (bacterial and host) determine the switch from asymptomatic infection to clinical disease. Ongoing work examines the process of pathogen adaptation to the host, the role of immunomodulatory components of the immune system (including T regulatory cells) in the transition from carriage to disease and the impact of co-infection with other bacterial, viral or helminth pathogens.
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