I lecture and coordinated the MSc Medical Mycology programme (2013-17) at Wythenshawe Hospital. I also have undergraduate teaching (Microbiology tutotrials, Dental School EBLs, Y2 dissertations), post-graduate teaching (MRes Infection Biology, Masters in Clinincal Immunology MSc and Masters in Medical Microbiology) and post-graduate research supervisory (PhD students in the Schools of Biological Sciences and Dentistry) responsibilities.
As part of my role as Senior Molecular Scientist for the Mycology Reference Centre Manchester (MRCM) located at MFT Wythenshawe Hospital, my research work involves developing, facilitating and implementing molecular tools for the diagnosis of fungal infections for this UK-wide service. We have implemented a new Aspergillus PCR for the detection of invasive and chronic aspergillosis (in 2017) and a new pyrosequencing assay to determine Aspergillus fumigatus triazole resistance in patient samples (2018). We are testing and implementing qPCR tests for Candida spp. and Pneumocystis jirovecii (PCP) and progressing towards including MALDI-TOF for fungal identification. I also have a sustained interest in Candida and mixed fungal/bacterial biofilms, including wound, vaginitis and cystic fibrosis (CF) models.
I pursued my first two degrees (BSc and MSc) at the University of Toronto, Canada, specialising in mycology, microbiology and plant pathology along with a joint degree in Chemistry.
I emigrated to Manchester, UK in 1990 to pursue PhD studies at the Victoria University of Manchester. Having gained a PhD in Mycology with Dr David Moore, I worked for a technology company spin-out of my PhD work, then another biotechnology company whose main activity was land bioremediation. I took 2 years off for maternity leave before returning to a post-doctoral position at the University of Manchester in Dr Ray O'Keefe's laboratory where my research involved the regulatory GTPase, Snu114, and other proteins involved in pre-mRNMA splicing in the yeast model, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Following another post-doctoral contract, I left his laboratory and joined Dr Riina Richardson's laboratory based at Wythenshawe Hospital. I have worked on various medical fungi, from Candida spp. to Aspergillus spp., developing diagnostic tools in the process, as well as other medical microorganisms, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and other infectious disease conditions. In addition, I developed an in vitro Candida biofilm model which demonstrates the potential carcinogenicity by acetaldehyde production during biofilm development and has been used for gene expression studies.
I taught and coordinated the MSc Medical Mycology programme from 2013-17. I am now Deputy Director of the MRes Infection Biology programme, as well as Journal Clubs unit lead. I also coordinate the Immune responses unit of the Clinical Immunology Masters programme and undertake a range of undergraduate teaching and post-graduate research student supervisory roles.
Memberships of committees and professional bodies
British Society of Medical Mycology
European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
International Society for Human and Animal Mycology