The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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


Research Projects

Project: Metal ion homeostasis in Klebsiella pneumoniae

McDevitt group

Klebsiella pneumoniae is a globally significant multi-drug resistant pathogen. Our recent studies investigating the chemical biology of this bacterium have identified numerous uncharacterised pathways involved in the acquisition of essential metal ion nutrients, such as zinc and molybdenum, from the host. This project will provide the first descriptions of these pathways and how they contribute to the growth, virulence and antibiotic resistance of Klebsiella pneumoniae. The outcomes of this study will provide information essential to exploiting nutrient dependency in breaking multi-drug resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae and other Gram-negative bacteria.

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Associate Professor Christopher McDevitt

Project Co-supervisor

Dr Aimee Tan

Project availability

McDevitt group

2 vacancies

Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections
Host Pathogens Interactions
Cross Cutting Disciplines
Discovery Research

Metal ions are essential for cellular chemistry in every cell in all forms of life. Research in the McDevitt group seeks to understand the role of metal ions in bacteria and how they influence host-pathogen interactions. Our specific research interests are: to understand how bacteria acquire essential metal ions from the environment; characterise the cellular roles of metal ions in bacteria; and elucidate the role of metal ions at host-pathogen interface. By understanding the chemical biology of bacteria, our work opens the way to developing novel antimicrobials to starve invading pathogens of crucial trace elements.