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Characterisation of the A. baumannii type VI secretion system

Acinetobacter baumannii has been identified as one of the top three dangerous Gram-negative hospital pathogens as it can cause a range of life-threatening infections and many strains are now resistant to almost all current antibiotics. Mechanisms of environmental survival, virulence and gene regulation are still poorly understood in this organism. In this project we will further characterise the type VI secretion system of A. baumannii, which we have shown is involved in interbacterial killing of both other A. baumannii strains and other bacterial species. We have shown that the system secretes at least 9 proteins including three toxic effectors, two immunity proteins and four proteins of unknown function. This project will define the function of type VI secretion system proteins involved in toxic effector delivery, using protein expression, , directed mutagenesis and complementation approaches. These T6SS toxic effectors are promising antimicrobial agents and understanding how they are delivered is key to using them as novel antibacterial molecules.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
Acinetobacter baumannii, toxins, type VI secretion system, antibiotic resistance, Department of Microbiology
Biomedicine Discovery Institute (School of Biomedical Sciences) » Microbiology
Available options 
Masters by research
Time commitment 
Top-up scholarship funding available 
Physical location 
Biomedicine Discovery Institute
Marina Harper
Deanna Deveson Lucas

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