The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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


Research Projects

Project: Developing a novel therapeutic approach to treat Streptococcus pneumoniae infections

McDevitt group

Streptococcus pneumoniae is one of the world’s foremost bacterial pathogens, responsible for more than one million deaths every year. Although we have antimicrobial treatments to control S. pneumoniae infections, rates of vaccine escape have been increasing over the past two decades as have resistance rates to frontline antibiotics. During infection, S. pneumoniae is exposed to high concentrations of the antimicrobial metal ion copper as part of the innate immune response. Although copper ions are directed against the pathogen to kill it, S. pneumoniae appears to have evolved elegant defence mechanisms that enable it to survive copper exposure and enhance its ability to cause host tissue damage and disease. This project will determine how S. pneumoniae subverts host antimicrobial copper and evaluate novel antimicrobials that target these resistance mechanisms.

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Professor Christopher McDevitt

Project Co-supervisor

Dr Stephanie Neville

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

McDevitt group

3 vacancies

Antimicrobial Resistance
Bacterial and Parasitic Infections
Cross Cutting Disciplines
Discovery Research

The McDevitt group studies bacterial pathogens, how they cause disease in the host, and develops novel therapeutics. In our group, we use state-of-the-art techniques that include genomics, molecular microbiology (e.g. making mutants, infection models, etc.), transcriptomics, biochemistry (e.g. recombinant proteins), and mass spectrometry. Our projects also involve working with immunologists, biophysicists, and structural biologists to access technologies and techniques that complement our work. We also work with biotech and industry partners to translate our research findings. 

McDevitt group Current Projects