Antimicrobial resistance represents a formidable challenge to modern healthcare, with the real prospect that common infections may soon become untreatable. Our group is involved in characterizing the mechanisms underlying the development and persistence of resistance as well as the consequences this may have on the organism and its capacity to cause human disease. We combine genomics, molecular biology, in-vitro and in-vivo (invertebrates) studies, epidemiological and clinical data in an attempt to dissect the complex relationship between host, pathogen and resistance. Our research is driven by the problems we encounter in daily clinical practice and in recent years has focused on multi-drug resistant Gram-negative bacteria such as Acinetobacter baumannii, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and carbapenem resistant Enterobacteria. Areas of particular interest include the identification of novel resistance determinants, evaluation of novel antimicrobial treatments and combinations, virulence studies of emerging pathogens and interventions to prevent the spread of resistant organisms in the hospital environment. Our work has been funded by industry, charities and research councils and we are keen to here from prospective students who would like to join our group and scientists with whom we can collaborate.
Our link to clinical practice is via Barts Health NHS Trust, a specialist teaching hospital in East London serving a population of > 1 million. A brand new hospital is due to open in 2012 and will contain a 44 bedded intensive care unit specializing in trauma medicine The associated diagnostic microbiology laboratory processes in excess of 750,000 specimens / year and has been at the forefront in the introduction of new techniques (molecular, MALDI-Tof) in diagnostic microbiology.