Date to be confirmed. Presbyterian Community Centre, 91 Tenby Street, Wanaka.
Dr Simon Jackson, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Otago.
Cost: $5 per person.
“New University of Otago research into how bacteria and their viruses interact and evolve could help pave the way for smarter health therapies, and counter antibiotic resistance.”
The overall aim of my research group is to understand the interactions between bacterial viruses (phages) and their hosts. Currently, we are funded to study bacterial phage defence systems, such as CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune systems. With the rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacterial pathogens, we urgently need to find new ways to treat bacterial infections. Exploiting phages as natural antimicrobials to kill bacterial pathogens, termed phage therapy, is a promising approach to address the AMR crisis. However, the success of phage therapy is dependent on understanding the complex interaction between phages and bacteria. To address these challenges, we use a combination of bioinformatic, comparative genomics and molecular biology approaches. In 2017, I was awarded the IlluminaTM Emerging Researcher Award, as the top New Zealand Molecular Biologist within 5 years of PhD completion.