Development of Live Biotherapeutic Microorganisms to prevent fungal infection
I obtained my BSc in Biological and Biomedical Science from Maynooth University in Ireland. My interest in microbiology led me to undertake my final year project in an environmental microbiology lab. Here I investigated bacteriocin production by an Enterococcus faecalis strain isolate from the soil using in vitro and in silico approaches.
I have been interested in the role the gut microbiota plays in host health, especially in its role in preventing infection and how commensal bacteria can be utilised in the treatment of disease. My work as an early stage researcher (ESR) is part of the FunHoMic Marie Skłodowska–Curie Innovative Training Network. I began this work in August 2019 under the supervision of Dr Alan Walker in the Rowett Institute at the University of Aberdeen. The project I have undertaken aims to investigate the molecular mechanisms utilised by specific anaerobic gut bacteria (which may be candidate live biotherapeutic products; LBPs) to inhibit the growth of the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans. These LBPs will be assessed for their efficacy in order to provide proof of principle that they may reduce the risk of systemic infection or vaginitis caused by C. albicans.