The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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

Professor Christopher McDevitt

Professor Christopher McDevitt

Professor Christopher McDevitt

(03) 8344 7200 |

Laboratory Head
Antimicrobial Resistance, Bacterial and Parasitic Infections
Discovery Research
Department of Microbiology and Immunology (DMI)
Lab Group(s):
McDevitt Group

Professor Christopher McDevitt is a lab head and a lead for the Bacterial and Parasitic Infections theme at the Doherty Institute. Christopher obtained his PhD in Microbiology and Biochemistry from the University of Queensland, Australia. He then spent six years as a postdoctoral researcher studying membrane transport proteins at the University of Oxford, UK. In 2008, he moved to the Research Centre for Infectious Disease, University of Adelaide, to initiate a research program investigating membrane transporters and the chemical biology of Streptococcus pneumoniae. In 2012, he established an independent research group at Adelaide and, in 2015, was appointed to Deputy Director of the Centre. In 2018, he relocated his laboratory to the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne, at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. 

  • Key Achievements
    • Metal ions are essential to all forms of life. Research in the McDevitt laboratory uses multi-disciplinary approaches to understand the roles of transition metals in the biology of bacterial pathogens and how they influence host-pathogen interactions. This has delivered major advances in knowledge in the fields of microbiology, biochemistry and chemical biology. Christopher’s research achievements have been recognised with an EPA Cephalosporin Junior Research Fellowship at Linacre College, University of Oxford (2007-8), School and Faculty research awards at the University of Adelaide (2011, 2017) and Deputy Directorship of the Research for Infectious Diseases, University of Adelaide (2014-18).

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    • Characterising the cellular roles of metals

      Advancements in the field of bacterial chemical biology have been limited due to a lack of capabilities beyond traditional probes that have restricted the field to the use of non-physiological model systems. Work in the McDevitt lab combines innovative new methodologies and technical approaches to directly address unresolved questions in how bacterial organisms use metal ions and the molecular targets of metal toxicity.

    • The roles of metal ions in host-pathogen interaction

      Scavenging metal ions from the host is a crucial facet of bacterial infection. Recent research has revealed that the innate immune system can manipulate the availability of certain metal ions during infection either starving or poisoning the bacteria. Our research investigates which metal ions are used to kill invading bacteria and the molecular targets of these metals.

    • Understanding how metal ions traverse bacterial cell membranes

      Metal ions are essential for the cellular chemistry in every cell in all forms of life. Pathogenic bacteria scavenge their essential metals from the host environment to enable colonization and disease. The McDevitt lab is investigating the transport pathways that enable the uptake of these metals in bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    Research Groups
    • McDevitt Group

      The McDevitt groups research investigates the interaction of pathogenic bacteria, e.g. Streptococcus pneumoniae, with the host environment with a particular focus on the role of metal ions. To understand the chemical biology of these interactions, we use state-of-the-art microbiology, biochemical and biophysical approaches.

      Lab Team

      McDevitt Group

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