Scott Beatson obtained a PhD in 2002 for his work on Pseudomonas aeruginosa genomics and pathogenesis with Prof John Mattick and Dr Cynthia Whitchurch at The University of Queensland. Previously he completed a BSc and MSc in Microbiology at the University of Otago, New Zealand. As a postdoctoral researcher he was awarded fellowships to study genomics at the University of Oxford (UK) with Prof Chris Ponting and at the University of Birmingham (UK) with Prof Mark Pallen. Since returning to The University of Queensland in 2006 as a NHMRC Howard Florey Fellow he has combined his interests in genomics and bacterial infectious diseases to establish a research group in the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences.
The Beatson group aims to better understand the molecular mechanisms of infectious disease and identify potential therapeutic and diagnostic targets by exploiting “Next-gen” genomic data. A major focus of the group is the comparative analysis of genomes obtained from local clinical isolates of important human pathogens such as Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococci, Streptococci, Legionella pneumophila and Acinetobacter baumannii. In particular, the group is interested in the evolution and mobility of genes encoding virulence factors that are widely conserved amongst bacterial pathogens (e.g. fimbriae, pili and type III and type IV secretion systems and secreted effectors). World-wide there are thousands of bacterial genome and meta-genome projects in progress, but the bottle-neck remains data analysis. A major priority in the group is the development of bioinformatics software to effectively utilize Next-gen sequence data.
Current projects range from researching fundamental questions such as “how has Escherichia coli pathogenesis evolved?” and "how are genes transferred between bacteria?" to the identification of potential diagnostic and vaccine targets and the development of software tools to enable integrated analysis of 100’s or 1000’s of bacterial genomes.
National: Prof Mark Schembri (UQ), Prof Mark Walker (UQ), A/Prof Andrew Barnes (UQ), Dr Mark Turner (UQ), A/Prof Glen Ulett (Griffith), Dr Kari Gobius (CSIRO), Prof David Paterson (UQ), A/Prof Scott Bell (QHealth), A/Prof Claire Wainwright (QHealth), Prof Elizabeth Hartland (UMel).
International: Dr Mat Upton (Manchester), Prof David Gally (Edinburgh), Dr Andrew Roe (Glasgow), Prof Tim Walsh (Cardiff), Prof Ian Henderson (Birmingham), Dr Kok Gan Chan (Malaysia)
Developing software for Next-Gen bacterial genome and meta-genome assembly, annotation and analysis
PacBio sequencing of antiboitic resistance plasmids
Genomic epidemiology: investigating outbreaks using genome sequencing
Reverse vaccinology: identifying candidate bacterial vaccine candidates
Investigating the role of bacteriophage in mobilizing virulence genes
NHMRC Career Development Fellowship 2015-2018
"Bacterial Pathogenomics: whole-genome sequencing to investigate
infection transmission, pathogenesis and antibiotic resistance"
NHMRC Project Grant 2014-2017 ($793,056).
Mark Schembri, Scott Beatson.
"1067455: Functional and genomic analysis of the globally disseminated multidrug
resistant Escherichia coli ST131 clone"
NHMRC Project Grant 2012-2014 ($622,350).
Mark Schembri, Tim Walsh, Scott Beatson.
“1033799: Evolution and pathogenicity of NDM-1 positive Escherichia coli”
Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage grant 2011-2013 ($333,000).
Mark Turner, Scott Beatson, Ian Godwin, Ian Powell.
“LP120100282: Smarter fermentations through starter culture genomics”
NHMRC Project Grant 2011-2013 ($555,000).
Mark Schembri, Scott Beatson.
“1012076: Escherichia coli ST131: an emerging pathogen”
ARC Discovery Project Grant and Australian Research Fellowship ($503,686).
"DP0881347: The evolution of bacterial pathogenesis: a genomic approach"
2008: ARC Australian Research Fellowship.
2006: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Howard Florey Centenary Fellowship.
2003: Medical Research Council (UK) Special Fellowship in Bioinformatics.
2001: Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Fellowship.
Associate editor BMC Genomics
Associate editor Microbiology Open
2012-2013: Bacpath 2013 local organizing committee member.
2008-2011: Lorne Genomes conference organizing committee.
2009-2011: Australian Society for Microbiology Queensland Branch ex-officio member.
Dr Nouri Ben Zakour Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Mitchell Stanton-Cook BioIT specialist
Kirstin Hanks-Thomson PhD candidate
Nabil Alikhan PhD candidate
Mitchell Sullivan PhD candidate
Bryan Wee PhD candidate
Leah Roberts Honours
Areej Alsheikh PhD candidate
Nhu Nguyen PhD candidate
Melinda Ashcroft PhD candidate
Nathan Bachmann PhD, graduated Nov 2013
Nicola Petty Postdoctoral fellow
Jan Szubert Postdoctoral fellow