The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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


Research Projects

Project: Turning a conserved system bad; Understanding how alterations within O-linked glycosylation biosynthesis results in toxicity in Burkholderia cenocepacia

Scott group

Burkholderia species are associated with several life-threatening human infections that often result in high morbidity and mortality rates due to their innate resistance to antibiotics. To improve clinical outcomes new therapies are needed which target conserved, yet unique, Burkholderia pathways. One such pathway is the Burkholderia O-linked protein glycosylation system which is required for virulence in Burkholderia cenocepacia and Burkholderia pseudomallei. This system relies on the O-Glycosylation gene Cluster (ogc), a five gene cluster sufficient and required for the generation of the glycan used for protein glycosylation, and the distally encoded oligosaccharyltransferase, pglL, responsible for the ligation of glycans to glycoproteins. Previous research from the lab has shown that the disruption of genes within the ogc cluster leads to profound impacts on bacterial physiology and that alterations in the expression of genes associated with ogc biosynthesis results in growth arrest. A critical question now is if these alterations are due to bactericidal or bacteriostatic impacts. Thus, this work aims to test how alterations in the Burkholderia O-linked glycosylation system impacts the viability of B. cenocepacia. Utilising inducible systems and phenotypic assessments this work will explore how the dysregulation of protein glycosylation could be used as a next generation therapy to control Burkholderia infections.

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Dr Nichollas Scott

Project Co-supervisor

Dr Leila Jebeli

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

Scott group

3 vacancies

Antimicrobial Resistance
Bacterial and Parasitic Infections
Cross Cutting Disciplines
Discovery Research

The Scott lab focuses on the application of molecular microbiology and mass spectrometry (MS)-based methodologies to characterise microbial systems. The key focus of the lab is understanding how microbial pathogens cause disease and why proteins decorated with carbohydrates influence microbial pathogenesis.