07th March 2024

Talk at Popup MicrobesNG

I gave a flashtalk at the POP UP conference of MicrobesNG in Oxford. These are microbial genomics conferences aimed at early career researchers that take place in different cities all of the UK. 

🧠 I talked about our new project, working on graph convolutional networks for antibiotic susceptibility prediction. By including the protein structure of the targets of specific antibiotics in the prediction process, we can implicitly include information about the structural changes that follow mutations. 

🧫 Currently, we are working with datasets from M. tuberculosis and E. coli, but we are hoping to apply this technique to many other clinically relevant pathogens in the future.

🩺   In the long run, these methods can complement the slow phenotypic and catalogue-based genetic approaches to susceptibility prediction, thereby closing some gaps in the diagnostics process.

 21st February 2024

Blog post for Microbiology society

It was a pleasure to write this short blog post about my latest paper and the paper-writing process for the microbiology society.

🖊️ Apart from a very short summary of the key findings of the paper I hence also describe parts of my PhD journey and what led my supervisor and I towards this particular project.

📎 In case you are interested in the full story on fitness compensation in TB, here's the link to the paper:

 05th February 2024

Paper published at mGen

Our recent paper on fitness compensation in M. tuberculosis (Mtb) has found its new home at Microbial Genomics. I am really excited to see this work published in a journal of the Microbiology Society!

This is my first first-authored paper, as well as the first paper published during my PhD and I am really happy with how the project turned out.

Key take-aways:

📋 In this work, we construct a comprehensive list of mutations that are significantly associated with resistance, based on a collection of > 70,000 clinical Mtb samples.

📉 On top of that, we show that in vitro growth data can recapitulate the fitness cost of antibiotic resistance...

📈 ... and also the restoring effect of compensatory mutations in some Mtb lineages.

📍 Lastly, we investigate the clustering of compensatory mutations in specific regions of the antibiotics target protein, the RNA polymerase.

 12th January 2024

Paper accepted at mGen

Our paper investigating compensatory mutations in M. tuberculosis and their influence on in vitro fitness has just been accepted at Microbial Genomics, a journal published by the Microbiology Society.

🎉  We are really happy that this work has found a new home and hope to see it out and published any time soon. 

 21st June 2023

New Preprint

Our work on compensatory mutations (CMs) in M. tuberculosis has just been uploaded as a preprint. The paper describes the large-scale identification of CMs based on a collection of > 70,000 clinical TB samples and identifies CM clustering regions on the RNA polymerase. 

🧫 We also attempt to dissect the in vitro growth densities associated with the presence of resistance mutations and CMs. This can be used as a proxy for the previously described fitness cost and fitness salvage associated with resistance mutations and CMs, respectively. 

📈 We found a strong association of CM presence with higher than wild type in vitro growth densities for the more virulent Lineages 2 and 3, but the underlying cause is not straightforward to identify. Further work will be needed to disentangle the influence of lineage- and clade-association on the observed growth levels.

17th May 2023

Talk at OxBacNet Symposium

The OxBacNet meetings brings together bacteriologists from all of Oxfords research institutions.  Every term, some senior and junior scientists have the possibility to present their work to members of the network at the OxBacNet symposium. 

🧬 I was happy to present the final stages of my work on compensatory mutations in M. tuberculosis at this Trinity term edition.

🖨️  This work is now almost concluded and will soon be published as a preprint, with all data and conducted analysis available online on my GitHub page.

22nd November 2022

Poster prize at INEOS Multidisciplinary Approaches to AMR conference

I was able to showcase my work on compensatory mutations in the RNA polymerase in M. tuberculosis at this years Multidisciplinary approaches to AMR conference in Oxford. 

🦠 My preliminary results indicate an interesting association between the presence of compensatory mutations in TB samples and unusually high sample growth in vitro. These findings could very well explain a part of the observed increased transmissibility of Lineage 2 M. tuberculosis in high burden countries and should be monitored further.

🥇 As this was my very first conference poster, I was very happy to be awarded a poster price for my contribution.