The ithree institute brings together a team of scientists with diverse skill sets who collectively address key challenges in the understanding and control of infectious diseases in humans and animals.
Our senior scientists have recently refined the key research themes associated with their respective groups. Collectively, this enhances the ability of ithree researchers to increase their impact in the antibiotic resistance, food safety and infectious diseases research fields.
INTERIM Director, ithree institute
Research – Biology of Intracellular Bacteria
Garry’s research interests centre on the biology of intracellular bacteria; he develops and applies genome-scale tools and techniques to increase understanding of host-bacteria interactions. He has a focus on Chlamydia, a common cause of severe bacterial infections in humans and animals. Related Chlamydia-like organisms are also found in almost every environment. Despite their success in the intracellular niche, relatively little is known about how Chlamydia interacts with host cells for survival.
Research - Computational Metagenomics
Aaron was part of the team that first sequenced and analysed genomes of pathogenic E. coli and he has extensive experience in comparative genomics and evolutionary modeling. His research is based on computational and molecular techniques that will lead to a better grasp of the relationship between humans and microorganisms.
Research - Bacterial Lifestyles
Cynthia’s research into how communities of bacteria live and thrive relies on advanced microscopy techniques. She directs UTS’ microbial imaging facility, which she established. Her discoveries include a number of important paradigm shifts that relate to the formation, architecture, and lifestyle of disease-causing bacteria within biofilms.
Research - Pathogen Evolution
Diane investigates virulence and survival mechanisms of bacterial pathogens such as Pseudomonas and Vibrio sp., which are widely distributed in aquatic environments. Investigations include how the bacteria adapt to stress – including the impact of predation by protozoa - and the underlying molecular control of these responses.
Research - Microbial Cell Dynamics
Iain investigates how microbes survive environmental changes and stress by regulating their morphology and cell cycle. He employs a range of techniques including functional genomics, molecular genetics, microscopy and protein biochemistry. Iain also translates his discoveries into biotech and medical applications, including new treatments for infectious disease.
Research - Pathogen Proteomics and Genomics
Steve’s primary interest is in the interactions of bacterial cell surface molecules and host cell receptors. These molecules play important roles in attachment, colonisation and invasion. His projects extend to investigations of the transmission of antibiotic resistance between humans, animals, and the environment using whole genome sequencing, alternatives to the use of antibiotics in agriculture, and porcine vaccine development.
Director of Microbial Imaging Facility
A/Prof, ithree institute
Louise is a plant and fungal cell biologist with over 20 years of research experience (both in the UK and Australia) using an arsenal of light and electron microscopy tools to investigate a wide-range of topics including endocytosis in plant and fungal cells, plant-host pathogen interactions, tubular-vacuolar systems in fungal cells and their role in long-distance transport, and plant cell-to-cell communication via the ER/desmotubule pathway in plasmodesmata. Louise joined the ithree institute at UTS early in 2018 as an Associate Professor and the Director of the Microbial Imaging Facility. She is especially passionate about training the future generation of microscopists. She is also currently the President of the Special Interest Group, Light Microscopy Australia.
Institute Manager, ithree institute
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