Microbial Evolution, Genomics and Adaptation
The Microbial Evolution, Genomics and Adaptation group focus on the interactions between bacterial pathogens and their host environment. We are interested in how host factors, including immune defence molecules, hormones and metabolites, can influence bacterial phenotypes and the process of adaptive evolution. In particular, we study bacterial pathogens of the respiratory tract and explore how cellular, environmental and anatomical differences between the upper and lower airways shape bacterial evolution and the outcome of infection. The upper airways - the nose, throat and sinuses - can act as a protective niche for bacterial pathogens, enabling gradual adaptation to the host and to the emergence of bacterial variants well suited to causing disease in the lungs. We aim to better understand bacterial interactions with the host environment in order to develop novel therapeutic approaches and to identify potential vaccine antigens for major pathogens such as Streptococcus pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Our group was established in 2017, and is headed by Dr Daniel Neill. For more information, follow us on Twitter or get in touch. We are part of the larger Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunity group at the Institute of Infection and Global Health.