Young Microbiologist of the Year Finalists: Stephen Dolan

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 the Microbiology Society Annual Conference or Irish meetings. The eight young scientists in this shortlist will give a 15-minute presentation at the Microbiology Society’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on September 6.

In the run up to the AGM, we will be getting to know this year’s finalists:

Prokaryotic Division Finalist: Stephen Dolan

Job Title: Postdoctoral Researcher Screen Shot 2018-08-16 at 17.15.32

Place of Work: University of Cambridge, Department of Biochemistry

Research Interests: I am fascinated by the molecular mechanisms which pathogenic microorganisms use to colonise their hosts and resist our interventions. My interest has recently extended to encompass the basis of interactions which occur during polymicrobial infection: an area which will, I believe, yield some exciting new discoveries.

Theme of talk: Many people with cystic fibrosis will develop a Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterial infection during their lives which can lead to a chronic infection. This infection reduces lung function and, therefore, life expectancy. I am exploring how P. aeruginosa regulates the activation of key nutrient utilisation pathways which allow it to persist in the lung and resist antibiotic intervention. P. aeruginosa infection is difficult to treat as it displays an inherent resistance to many commonly used antibiotics. Understanding these important metabolic branch points will allow for the development of new antimicrobials that specifically target this organism.

If I would not be a microbiologist, I would be… a live sound engineer. I have a passion for live music and have an interest in the way live sound mixing can enhance a performance. I think this would be a stimulating career that could lend itself to travelling the world.

Stephen’s talk, ‘Knowing the Enemy: How does Pseudomonas aeruginosa regulate carbon flux through its glyoxylate shunt?’ will take place at 15:45 at the Microbiology Society AGM on September 6.

Previous finalist profiles:
Laura Caller, Virology Division Finalist
Freddy Bunbury, Eukaryotic Division Finalist
Cathy Abberton, Irish Division Finalist
Courtney Kousser, Prokaryotic Division Finalist
Rute Maria Pinto, Virology Division Finalist
Paula Seoane, Eukaryotic Division Finalist 
Katherine Dadswell, Irish Division Finalist

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