Postgraduate (MSc/PhD) projects in Molecular Microbiology
1. Heme-acquisition by anaerobic pathogenic bacteria
All pathogenic bacteria express specialized mechanisms by which to subvert the powerful iron-withholding systems of the mammalian innate immune system. Anaerobic bacteria of the Bacteroidetes class acquire iron in the form of heme. This study aims to characterize the heme acquisition/uptake systems of these bacteria at the molecular level and to understand how heme acquisition contributes to virulence.
2. Bacteriocin-facilitated gene-acquisition among streptococci
Bacteriocins are proteins/peptides secreted by some strains of bacteria that kill other, usually closely-related bacteria. We have shown that in some strains of Streptococcus, bacteriocin production is controlled by the same genes that regulate DNA uptake. This strongly suggests that bacteriocin production may assist DNA (gene) acquisition in some way, and the study aims to explore this functional link.
For more information contact:
Sir John Walsh Research Institute
University of Otago
Tel 64 3 479 5471