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Personal profile

Research Focus

I'm a specialty registrar in Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, interested in new treatment strategies for complex respiratory infections. My current focus is on non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), a group of environmental bacteria that are rapidly increasing as a cause of difficult-to-treat lung infections.

My research strategy focuses around:

1. Better clinical characterisation 

By capturing key data on patients living with non-tuberculous mycobacterial pulmonary disease (NTM-PD), we can determine the disease burden, important risk factors and patient outcomes of NTM infection.

2. Better preclinical modelling of NTM infection

Our understanding of how NTM causes infection and disease is still very limited. Using cells donated by patients (and comparing with healthy volunteers), we can discover the important processes that drive inflammation and tissue damage in the lung. I am also collaborating with Prof. Mercedes Gonzalez-Juarrero at Colorado State University to optimise in vivo models of NTM-PD.

3. Screening candidate therapies

NTM are resistant to most antimicrobials. We are testing new treatment strategies that can kill the bacteria and improve patient immunity. Currently I'm working on a cell therapy for NTM infection with mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Recent discoveries have found MSCs can release antimicrobial factors and boost immune cell function. I'm exploring the potential role of MSCs in treating difficult infections, like those caused by NTM.

Eventually, we hope to move the best candidate therapies into human trials for patients - and help improve their experiences and outcomes from NTM infection.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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