The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


Research Projects

Project: Defining the impact of antibiotic resistance and convergent evolution on staphylococcal pathogenesis and host-pathogen interactions

Howden Group

Staphylococcus aureus is one of the major causes of human bacterial infection, with increasing antibiotic resistance making treatment difficult. Our laboratory has discovered a critical link between resistance and changes in host-pathogen interactions, and has identified potentially important convergent mutations in Staphylococcus aureus. In this project, techniques including directed mutagenesis, RNAseq, reporter assays, whole genome sequencing and bioinformatics, and phenotype screening will be used to unravel the complex relationship between evolution, resistance, virulence and host immunity in this important human pathogen.

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Professor Ben Howden, Professor Tim Stinear

Project Co-supervisor

Dr Romain Guerillot

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

Howden Group

[email protected]

3 vacancies

Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections
Host Pathogens Interactions
Cross Cutting Disciplines
Global Health
Indigenous Health

Research Projects 2019 | 19 The Howden group is embedded in the state public health laboratory - the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory (MDU PHL) - with expertise in pathogen genomics and antimicrobial resistance, including functional genomics technologies and models of disease. We complement these molecular biology studies with epidemiological and clinical studies to address a broad range of issues related to invasive bacterial diseases in humans, especially those caused by staphylococci, enterococci and other antimicrobial-resistant species (CPE). Working closely with scientists in the MDU PHL, we investigate the epidemiology, evolution and spread of bacterial pathogens of public health significance such as Neisseria gonorrhoea, Listeria monocytogenes, Legionella spp. and Salmonella spp. 

Howden Group Current Projects