Dr Emma Ainsworth

Senior Researcher

Contact via email

Bacterial niche adaptation

My research interests focus on narrowing the gaps between scientific disciplines (chemistry, biology, physics, medicine, etc) to develop innovative methods that tackle the big modern scientific challenges. Following my chemistry undergraduate, I undertook a biochemistry/photochemistry PhD at the University of East Anglia (UEA) where I developed methods for producing photosensitiser-proteoliposome systems to study light driven transmembrane electron transfers via a porin:cytochrome protein complex. Following this I worked on heme enhancement systems for overexpression within cytochromes in E. coli.

I joined the Norwich Medical School at UEA in early 2017 to help generate transposon libraries of non-aureus staphylococci for transposon-directed insertion sequencing (TraDIS). These libraries, used with developed biofilm models, have helped to identify essential genes required for biofilm formation that lead to prosthetic joint infections. I have developed this biofilm model to investigate both the application of bacteriophage technology to treat staphylococcal prosthetic joint infections and the essential genes required for initial biofilm formation of P. aeruginosa.

I joined the Quadram Institute in late 2018 where I have been investigating the molecular mechanisms used by Salmonella Typhi to survive in an asymptomatic state in humans – known as the carrier state. I use genomics techniques such as long-read sequencing and TraDIS to determine if S. Typhi samples have undergone large-scale genome rearrangements and which genes are essential for biofilm formation, respectively.


Key Publications

Towards Compartmentalized Photocatalysis: Multiheme Proteins as Transmembrane Molecular Electron Conduits
Stikane, A., Hwang, E. T., Ainsworth, E. V., Piper, S., Critchley, K., Butt, J. N., Reisner, E., & Jeuken, L. J. C. 21 Dec 2018 In: Faraday Discussions
doi: d10.1039/C8FD00163D

Light-Driven H2-Evolution and C=C or C=O Bond Hydrogenation by Shewanella oneidensis: A Versatile Strategy for Photocatalysis by Nonphotosynthetic Microorganisms
Rowe, S. F., Le Gall, G., Ainsworth, E. V., Davies, J. A., Lockwood, C. W. J., Shi, L., Elliston, A., Roberts, I. N., Waldron, K. W., Richardson, D. J., Clarke, T. A., Jeuken, L. J. C., Reisner, E. & Butt, J. N. 19 Sep 2017 In : ACS Catalysis. 7, p. 7558–7566 9
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acscatal.7b02736

Photoreduction of Shewanella oneidensis Extracellular Cytochromes by Organic Chromophores and Dye-Sensitized TiO2
Ainsworth, E. V., Lockwood, C. W. J., White, G. F., Hwang, E. T., Sakai, T., Gross, M. A., Richardson, D. J., Clarke, T. A., Jeuken, L. J. C., Reisner, E. & Butt, J. N. 14 Dec 2016 In : ChemBioChem. 17, 24, p. 2324–2333 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cbic.201600339

Redox linked flavin sites in extracellular decaheme proteins involved in microbe-mineral electron transfer
Edwards, M., White, G., Norman, M., Tome-Fernandez, A., Ainsworth, E., Shi, L., Fredrickson, J., Zachara, J., Butt, J., Richardson, D. & Clarke, T. 1 Jul 2015 In : Scientific Reports. 5, 11677 http://www.nature.com/articles/srep11677

A Decaheme Cytochrome as a Molecular Electron Conduit in Dye-Sensitized Photoanodes
Hwang, E. T., Sheikh, K., Orchard, K., Hojo, D., Radu, V., Lee, C-Y., Ainsworth, E., Lockwood, C., Gross, M., Adschiri, T., Reisner, E., Butt, J. & Jeuken, L. J. C. 15 Apr 2015 In : Advanced Functional Materials. 25, 15, p. 2308–2315 8 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/adfm.201404541

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