Pathogenesis of pneumococcal pneumonia

Research Opportunity
Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
1
Number of Master Places Available
1
Department
Paediatrics
Location
Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Associate Professor Catherine Satzke catherine.satzke@mcri.edu.au 03 8341 6438 Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Doctor Jonathan Jacobson jonathan.jacobson@mcri.edu.au 03 9936 6531
Professor Sarath Ranganathan Sarath.Ranganathan@rch.org.au 03 9345 6474

Summary Your project aims will be to examine pneumococcal gene expression in samples collected from pneumonia patients at the Royal Children's Hospital, and elucidate the role of several candidate genes in pneumococcal pneumonia. To do this, you will use a variety of approaches including measurement of gene and/or protein expression (using methods such as qRT-PCR, RNA-seq, western blotting, and ELISA) and analysing their importance through genetic manipulation of pneumococci and functional assays.

Project Details

Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus) is the most common cause of community-acquired pneumonia and a leading killer of children world-wide. However, it is also commonly found as an asymptomatic coloniser of the upper respiratory tract, particularly in children.  We are interested in elucidating the molecular processes by which the pneumococcus can transition from the carriage to infection state, and identifying signals of pneumococcal pneumonia.  Previous work in our laboratory using clinical samples collected from children in The Gambia, West Africa, hospitalised with pneumonia has identified several pneumococcal genes that were upregulated in the lung.  Recently, we have collected clinical samples from children with severe pneumonia at the Royal Children's Hospital.  Your project aims will be to examine pneumococcal gene expression in samples collected from pneumonia patients at the Royal Children's Hospital, and elucidate the role of several candidate genes in pneumococcal pneumonia. To do this, you will use a variety of approaches including measurement of gene and/or protein expression (using methods such as qRT-PCR, RNA-seq, western blotting, and ELISA) and analysing their importance through genetic manipulation of pneumococci and functional assays.  Access to clinical samples such as pleural fluid provides the unique opportunity to examine pneumococcal gene expression during pneumonia. This project will provide exciting new data on the pathogenesis of pneumococcal pneumonia.



Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine



Research Opportunities

Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department

Paediatrics

Research Node

Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

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