I completed my undergraduate degree in Applied Biochemistry at University of Liverpool. This degree included a year in industry which I carried out at EvanesCo Ltd, researching whole organism detection using fibre optic sensors.
During my final year at university I wrote a proposal for a project using the knowledge and ideas I gained from EvanesCo Ltd for whole organism detection but using a more sensitive platform.
I submitted this proposal to the Royal Commission of the Exhibition of 1851, and in 2008 they awarded me with an Industrial Fellowship to fund this project, the industrial element coming from ongoing collaboration with Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (dstl).
- 2004 – 2008 BSc (Hons.) Applied Biochemistry, University of Liverpool
- 2008 – 2009 Biological Research Associate, EvanesCo
- 2010 – Present Biosciences PhD student, University of Exeter
My PhD focuses on the rapid detection of bacterial pathogens using a CCD based device. This device, which is lit from above and images from below, produces images of diffraction patterns called Airy Discs (Figure 1).
The Airy Disc changes over time as the bacterium grows. Software has been developed which analyses these images along predetermined parameters and produces a growth curve over a time course (Figure 2).
I am interested initially in exploring the effect temperature and media nutrients will have on the shape and time period of the bacterial surface growth curve and whether the curves produced for the measure parameters are diagnostic for bacterial strain.
Further to this we have developed the concept of ‘Phenotype Fingerprinting’, by building up a map or ‘fingerprint’ of the target bacterium’s surface proteins it can be rapidly detected from many others in a ‘dirty’ swab sample using fluorescent labelled antibodies.