Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon

Nina DickerhofPrincipal Investigator
Senior Research Fellow

MSc(Germany) PhD(Otago)

Email nina.dickerhof@otago.ac.nzTel +64 3 364 0568

Research interests

My research focuses on understanding how the immune system uses oxidants to combat bacteria; and how bacteria evade these oxidants.

We have discovered critical antioxidant systems in Streptococcus pneumoniae that enable this major human pathogen to overcome oxidative killing by the immune system. We are investigating how these pneumococcal antioxidant systems work at the molecular level using biophysical, structural and mutational studies. Our aim is to uncover strategies for disarming bacterial antioxidant defences to bolster the immune system's ability to eradicate invading pathogens.

We are also investigating the flip side of immune-derived oxidants: Their ability to cause tissue damage and chronic inflammation. By finding markers of oxidative tissue damage, we aim to offer more precise tools for detecting and addressing inflammation.

Publications

Shearer, H. L., Pace, P. E., Smith, L. M., Fineran, P. C., Matthews, A. J., Camilli, A., Dickerhof, N., & Hampton, M. B. (2023). Identification of Streptococcus pneumoniae genes associated with hypothiocyanous acid tolerance through genome-wide screening. Journal of Bacteriology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1128/jb.00208-23

Shearer, H. L., Loi, V. V., Weiland, P., Bange, G., Altegoer, F., Hampton, M. B., … Dickerhof, N. (2023). MerA functions as a hypothiocyanous acid reductase and defense mechanism in Staphylococcus aureus. Molecular Microbiology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/mmi.15035

Kettle, A. J., Ashby, L. V., Winterbourn, C. C., & Dickerhof, N. (2023). Superoxide: The enigmatic chemical chameleon in neutrophil biology [Invited review]. Immunological Reviews, 314, 181-196. doi: 10.1111/imr.13183

Hampton, M. B., & Dickerhof, N. (2023). Inside the phagosome: A bacterial perspective. Immunological Reviews. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/imr.13182

Shearer, H. L., Pace, P. E., Paton, J. C., Hampton, M. B., & Dickerhof, N. (2022). A newly identified flavoprotein disulfide reductase Har protects Streptococcus pneumoniae against hypothiocyanous acid. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 298(9), 102359. doi: 10.1016/j.jbc.2022.102359

Back to top