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 Pseudomonas aeruginosa

McDevitt group

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a major opportunistic human pathogen and the leading cause of death in cystic fibrosis. Our recent studies investigating the chemical biology of this pathogen have identified novel pathways involved in the acquisition of essential metal ion nutrients, such as zinc and molybdenum, from the lung environment. This project will build on our detailed insights to assess the roles of these major, yet uncharacterised, pathways and how they influence the growth and behaviour of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This study will define new pathways involved in metal ion homeostasis in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other gram-negative bacteria. 

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Associate Professor Christopher McDevitt 

Project Co-supervisor

Dr Stephanie Begg 

Project availability

McDevitt group

[email protected]

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.