My current project focuses on the impact of bacterial sialic acid metabolism on gut homeostasis. In particular I am interested in how a novel bacterial mechanism of utilising mucin-derived sialic acid may provide a competitive advantage to bacteria expressing an intramolecular trans-sialidases, and help to protect the gut from pathogens. This work builds on the findings of my PhD project ‘Sialic acid metabolism in gut microbes’ which I also undertook at the Quadram Institute with Prof. Nathalie Juge.
Previous to my time at QIB I studied Biochemistry at the University of East Anglia, and as part of the degree programme undertook a year in Industry placement in Prof. Claire Domoney’s lab at the John Innes Centre where I was involved in a project to increase understanding of chlorophyll degradation and turnover pathways in plants. I continued with the same research theme following my undergraduate and discovered that the SGRL protein can regulate chlorophyll metabolism contributing to plant growth and development in pea.