University of Bath (UB)
The University of Bath (UB) is renowned for excellence in both teaching and research. In the recent UK Research Excellence Framework assessment (REF2014), 87% of research at UB was assessed as being internationally excellent or world-leading. The Department of Biology and Biochemistry is one of six departments in the Faculty of Science. The department conducts both fundamental and translational research, is multidisciplinary with critical mass in infection and immunity, evolution, cell biology, enzymology and contains specialist infrastructure in controlled growth environments, imaging and structural biochemistry. The Infection and Immunity research theme within the department is particularly renowned for expertise in the use of genomics to study microbial virulence and bacterial pathogen evolution.
Within PERISCOPE, UB will be a lead partner in establishing capacity for microbiology research. This will involve strain characterisation, development of a qPCR based assay for bacterial quantification and the generation of the reagents for use within the project (e.g. isogenic mutants, saturated transposon mutant libraries), contained within WP5. It will also lead on analysis of microbiological samples from challenge and infection models/studies, (WP1, WP2) UB provides expertise in molecular microbiology, particularly pertaining to growth, genetics and manipulation of B. pertussis for these studies.
Dr Andrew Preston is a leader in the field of Bordetella genomics. He was a lead investigator on the original Bordetella genome project that generated and analysed the first Bordetella genome sequences. Recently he led work analysing the genomics of B. pertussis isolates from the recent UK Pertussis outbreak which identified that genes encoding acellular vaccine antigens are evolving more quickly than other genes.