We were very pleased to host Brian Arnold from the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, USA. We ate some hipster pizzas at Dough before drinks and conversations about recombination in bacteria!
From Left: Sam Sheppard, Brian Arnold, Ben Pascoe, Leslie Turner, Lauren Cowley, Jess Calland & Sion Bayliss.
Darwin Day Lecture, Friday February 15th, 2019
Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution 16-18 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HN
Professor Turi King – King Richard III: resolving a 500 year old cold case.
When the University of Leicester Archaeology Service undertook the Grey Friars project, it was thought that the chances of finding the remains of Richard III were slim to none. Nevertheless, the skeletal remains of a ‘good candidate’ to be Richard III were found. Prof Turi King, with her background both in archaeology and genetics, led the DNA analysis in this fascinating project identifying the remains of the infamous king. In the 2019 Milner Centre Darwin Day lecture, Turi King spoke about the Grey Friars project, from the early stages of planning the dig, through to the excavation and the results of the various strands of analysis carried out on the remains.
The groups latest paper investigating the genetic elements associated with clinical disease in Staphylococcus epidermidis was published online today in Nature Communications. [Abstract below]
Bath University press release: The potentially deadly bacterium that’s on everyone’s skin
After several years working together we finally met up with Dr Hiroshi Asakura (National Institute of Health Sciences, Kanagawa) in person. During a recent visit to Japan, Sam and Ben met up with Hiroshi and Koji in Tokyo to discuss ongoing projects.
From left: Ben Pascoe, Hiroshi Asakura, Koji Yahara & Sam Sheppard
Previous work with Hiroshi includes our paper on Enhanced biofilm formation evolves from divergent genetic backgrounds in host generalist Campylobacter jejuni with future work in the pipeline!
Ben and Sam paid a visit to the MRC Unit, The Gambia @LSHTM. It was a fascinating trip and we received a warm welcome and wonderful hospitality. Hopefully the projects discussed will lead to a long and fruitful collaboration.
From Left: Martin Antonio, Sam Sheppard, Archie Worwui, Abdul Sesay, Lamin Leigh, Ben Pascoe
After a few short delays we have finally moved in to our brand-new lab and office spaces in the Milner Centre for Genomics!
Dr Mohamed Elhadidy has been visiting the lab this month from Mansoura University in Egypt. Mohamed is an Associate Professor and in addition to enjoying the glorious summer weather in Bath, has been learning about our sequencing and analysis techniques with a view to building a relationship for collaboration. Everyone in the lab is looking forwards to working together in the future.
Jess, Mohamed and Ben
Our first paper has been published as part of what we hope will continue to be a fruitful collaboration with researchers at Chiang Mai University in Thailand. The manuscript focuses on identification of Salmonella Weltevrenden outbreak strains in the pork production chain in Chiang Mai. This Salmonella serovar was the dominant serovar found in the regions pork production 15 years ago, but has now been almost completely replaced by other, multi-drug resistant serovars. The Weltevrenden serovar rarely carries antimicrobial resistance genes, however the isolates we do find remaining in the region have began to acquire resistant genotypes. You can read the paper here.
We are glad to welcome Sylwia Banaszkiewicz to the lab, who is visiting as part of her PhD studies with Jacek Bania at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences in Poland. Sylwia will stay for 7 weeks, working on Staphylococcus pathogenicity island genomics.
Curry night in the Eastern Eye: Ben, Ed, Sion, Evangelos, Conrad, Jess, Sylwia & Sam
Sam, Ben and Evangelos enjoyed a productive collaboration meeting with Prof. David Kelly and Aidan Taylor at the University of Sheffield to discuss various aspects of Campylobacter genomics / biochemistry. Guillaume was also able to join us from Australia via Skype before he went to bed! Thanks again to David and Aidan for being excellent hosts and we have some exciting projects ahead.