[Events] MSSI Research Forum 2010

Emily.Barrett Emily.Barrett at staffmail.ul.ie
Thu Feb 11 14:53:46 GMT 2010


 

 

Materials  &  Surface  Science  Institute

Research  Forum  2010

 

 


PRESENTATION  BY


Dr. Olivia McAuliffe

Moorepark Food Research Centre

TEAGASC

 

TITLE  OF  PRESENTATION

 

The New Phage Biology - from Genomics to Applications

 


ABSTRACT


Bacterial viruses, or bacteriophages(phages), are estimated to be the
most widely distributed and diverse entities in the biosphere. From
initial research defining the nature of viruses, to deciphering the
fundamental principles of life, to the development of the science of
molecular biology, phages have been 'model organisms' for probing the
basic chemistry of life. With more recent advances in technology, most
notably the ability to elucidate the genome sequences of phages and
their bacterial hosts, there has been a resurgence of interest in phages
as more information is generated regarding their biology, ecology and
diverse nature. Phage research in more recent years has revealed not
only their abundance and diversity of form, but also their dramatic
impact on the ecology of our planet, their influence on the evolution of
microbial populations, and their potential applications. In this talk,
we will focus on this new post-genomic era of phage biology, from
information emerging from genomics and metagenomics approaches through
to potential applications in agriculture and human therapy. 

 


ABOUT  THE  PRESENTER


Dr. Olivia McAuliffe is a senior scientist at Moorepark Food Research
Centre, Teagasc in Fermoy, Co. Cork where she heads up the Phage
Research team.  

She received her BSc and PhD degrees from University College Cork in
1995 and 1999, respectively. Her PhD studies involved the molecular
genetics of a complex lantibiotic system, lacticin 3147. From 1999 to
2000, she held a post-doctoral position at the National Food
Biotechnology Centre at University College Cork where she studied the
production of novel peptides from bacterial cells. In 2000, she was
awarded a research fellowship at North Carolina State University in the
USA to study the genomics of food cultures, particularly probiotic
cultures. She took up her present position in Teagasc on returning from
the USA in 2003.

Her research at Teagasc is concerned with the in-depth analysis of
phages and the relationship that they have with their host cells. With
the recent development of antibiotic resistance within the microbial
population, the need for new antibacterials and alternative strategies
to control microbial infections is of increasing urgency. One option is
the use of phages as antimicrobial agents. Dr. McAuliffe, her Teasgasc
colleagues and external collaborators are investigating the potential of
using these viruses, and products derived from them, as therapeutics.
They have identified and characterised numerous phages which target some
of the more problematic multi-drug resistant pathogens including MRSA,
Clostridium difficile and E. coli O157:H7. Her research has involved
extensive whole genome sequencing of phages to identify suitable
candidates for therapy as well as detailed molecular characterisation of
phage endolysins, enzymes which hydrolyse bacterial cell walls. More
recently, she has isolated phages from the human gastrointestinal tract
and is examining the influence of these phages on the microbial ecology
in the gut. 

 

 

DATE:            Thursday, 18 February 2010

TIME:            12h00

VENUE:         MSB-012 MSSI Building

 

 


REFRESHMENTS  WILL  BE  PROVIDED  AT  11h45


For further information, please contact:

Dr Teresa Curtin, Tel. No:  (061) 202981 or Email:  teresa.curtin at ul.ie 

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