The Beatson group aims to better understand the molecular mechanisms of infectious disease and identify potential therapeutic and diagnostic targets by exploiting “Next-gen” genomic data. A major focus of the group is the comparative analysis of genomes obtained from local clinical isolates of important human pathogens. World-wide there are thousands of bacterial genome and meta-genome projects in progress, but the bottleneck remains data analysis. A major priority in the group is the development of bioinformatics software to effectively utilise next-generation sequence data.
Current projects range from researching fundamental questions such as “how has Escherichia coli pathogenesis evolved?” and "how are genes transferred between bacteria?" to the identification of potential diagnostic and vaccine targets and the development of software tools to enable integrated analysis of hundreds or thousands of bacterial genomes. More information can be found at http://beatsonlab.com/
We aim to better understand the molecular mechanisms of infectious disease and identify potential therapeutic and diagnostic targets by exploiting next-generation genomic data. A major focus is the comparative analysis of genomes obtained from local clinical isolates (Brisbane & Australia) of important human pathogens such as Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococci, Streptococci, Legionella pneumophila and Acinetobacter baumannii.
In particular we are interested in the evolution and mobility of genes encoding virulence factors that are widely conserved amongst bacterial pathogens (e.g., fimbriae, pili and type III and type IV secretion systems and secreted effectors). We have sequenced almost 1,000 bacterial genomes using a variety of different next-generation sequencing technologies (Illumina, SOLiD, 454, PacBio). This collection varies from just sequencing reads right through to annotated complete genomes that we have derived from the data.