Transposons: from molecular mechanisms to the clinic

My work has focused on understanding how bacteria organise their genetic material and regulate its expression. As a post-graduate student, in Steve Busby’s lab at the University of Birmingham, I studied gene regulation in E. coli. This work was very focused on individual chromosomal loci. My post-doctoral work took a different direction using genome-scale approaches. In 2008, I started my laboratory at the University of Warwick. Rather than focusing on gene regulation, I moved more towards the study of chromosome folding. My group moved back to Birmingham in 2012 and our research expanded into different organisms, particularly human pathogens. Most recently, we have started a new focus on Acinetobacter baumannii, the WHO’s pathogen of most concern. We have identified transposons as a key source of phenotypic heterogeneity in A. baumannii populations. We are starting to understand the clinical relevance and underlying molecular mechanisms