Project: Mitochondria and intracellular bacterial pathogens
Intracellular bacterial pathogens employ specialised secretion systems that transport virulence proteins, termed effectors, into the host cytosol. These effectors can subvert normal eukaryotic functions allowing the pathogen to create a replicative niche and evade killing. Some effector proteins target the host cell mitochondria where their functions remain largely unknown. This project will use cutting edge biochemistry, microscopy, microbiology and eukaryotic cell biology to explore the impact of intracellular bacterial pathogens on mitochondrial function.
A bacterial effector protein (green) localising to mitochondria (red).
The Newton group uses a range of molecular and cell biology approaches to investigate the host-pathogen interactions that occur during infection with intracellular bacterial pathogens. Studies are particularly focused on the causative agent of Q fever, Coxiella burnetii, which uses a large cohort of novel effector proteins to convert the normally bactericidal lysosome into an efficient replicative niche. Understanding the function of these important effector proteins will shed light on both the pathogenesis of Coxiella and important human cellular processes.
Newton Group Current Projects
PhD/MPhil, Master of Biomedical Science, Honours