Meet the Young Microbiologist of the Year Finalists: Naoise McGarry
Posted on September 9, 2019 by Microbiology Society
The Sir Howard Dalton Young Microbiologist of the Year Prize is awarded by the Society each year. The prize recognises and rewards excellence in science communication by a Microbiology Society member who is a postgraduate student or postdoctoral researcher, having gained their PhD in the last two years. Two finalists are shortlisted from each of the Society’s Divisions based on a presentation given at the Microbiology Society Annual Conference or Irish Division meetings. The nine young scientists on this shortlist will give a 15-minute presentation at the Microbiology Society’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 12 September. In the run up to the AGM, we will be getting to know the finalists.
Prokaryotic Division finalist: Naoise McGarry
Current position: PhD Student, Trinity College Dublin
Title of talk: Characterisation of rpoS alleles in Escherichia coli strain CFT073
Research interests: My general research interests include bacterial virulence and fitness determinants, the regulation of virulence genes in response to environmental and host stimuli and the co-evolution of host and pathogen. Additionally, of personal interest to me is the impact research can have on clinical output and treatment strategies.
Theme of talk: Escherichia coli is a major cause of urinary tract infection, bloodstream infection and sepsis. Strain CFT073 is a serum-resistant, prototypic urosepsis isolate with resistance being imparted by several key virulence factors. RpoS is a global regulatory protein, which is maximally expressed during stationary phase and is implicated in the regulation of over 500 genes during this stage of growth. Many CFT073 isolates possess a mutation in rpoS, with these mutants lacking a functional RpoS protein. The serum susceptibility of CFT073 wild-type and mutant was investigated in order to determine whether RpoS plays a role in serum resistance during sepsis.
If I wasn't a microbiologist, I would be... a vet or café owner. I have always loved animals and seriously considered pursuing veterinary science as a career when I was younger. I also enjoy cooking, especially using wholefoods and alternatives to make healthier versions of classic dishes. I would love to own a café with good food and good coffee!