BSc (Hons) University of Leeds (1979) PhD University of Birmingham (1984) Postdoctoral Research University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Oxford
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research)
+61 7 344 31150
Brief Research Description: 
Redox biology and bacterial pathogenesis
Research Focus and Collaborations: 
My research interests are in the role of transition metal ions and redox processes in biology. The main focus of our research is bacterial pathogens, principally Streptococcus pneumoniaeNeisseria gonorrhoeaeHaemophilus influenzae and enteric bacteria. This research also involves investigation of the interaction between bacterial pathogens and the host innate immune system. Current research projects include:
  • the biochemical mechanism of action of the novel thiol-based sensor NmlR and its role in the regulation of the response to nitrosative and carbonyl stress in bacterial pathogens
  • interplay between manganese, iron and zinc in the control of the virulence of pneumococcus
  • trafficking of copper and iron in macrophages in response to bacterial pathogens
  • adaptation of the respiratory chains of bacterial pathogens in response to metal ion and carbon source availability.


L: Copper-containing vesicles in murine macrphages infected with SalmonellaTyphimurium.  The image is a false colour overlay with copper pools in green and macrophage and Salmonella DNA (DAPI) in red. R: Localisation of copper pools in murine macrophages infected with Salmonella Typhimurium. Left panel shows macrophage nucleus and Salmonella. Centre panel show copper pools inside the infected macrophages. Right panel shows image analysis using InCell Developer (GE) - bacteria are circled in green, copper containing vesicles in purple and macrophage nucleus in red.


Funded Projects: 

NHMRC Project Grant 2008-2010
Copper and its antibacterial action: an emerging aspect of host defence against bacterial pathogens
Total value of grant: $291,083

NHMRC Project Grant 2009-2011
The molecular physiology of Streptococcus pneumoniae during sepsis
Total value of grant: $1,097,500
ARC Discovery Project Grant 2010-2012
Disulfide Catalysis and Protein Folding in Bacterial Virulence
Total value of grant: $300,000 (2nd-named Chief Investigator)
ARC Discovery Project Grant 2009-2011
NmlR-dependent thiol-based redox systems and their role in global stress responses in bacteria
Total value of grant: $300,000
University of Adelaide 2010-2014
Pathogenesis, treatment and prevention of bacterial infectious diseases (Univ Adelaide lead institution)
Total value of grant: $3,790,000 (2nd-named Chief Investigator)


Significant Professional Activities and Awards: 
1983 University Research Fellowship
1985   NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship
1988  Royal Society


Selected Publications: