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

© 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!

Naoise's talk will take place at the Microbiology Society AGM on 12 September, at the Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London. Stay tuned for more finalist profiles in the coming weeks. Already published profiles can be found below: 
Christine Jordan, Irish Division Finalist
Davis Laundon, Eukaryotic Division Finalist
Michaela Conley, Virology Division Finalist
Sarah Worsley, Parkaryotic Division Finalist
Paula Seoane, Eukaryotic Division Finalist
Gareth Raynes, Irish Division Finalist
Laura Petch, Eukaryotic Division Finalist
Daniella Lefteri, Virology Division Finalist