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Infection Biology

Infection Biology

Infection Biology researchers at UCD investigate virulence mechanisms of pathogenic microorganisms and viruses, host response to infection, immunopathologies such as inflammation and immune system dysfunction as well as the development of novel therapeutics and drug delivery. The breadth of infection biology research in UCD is well-represented in SBBS, with the following areas being of particular focus in the School:

  • Host pathogen interactions
  • Host response to infection
  • Molecular Genetics of Infection Biology
  • Pathogen Genomics, Transcriptomics and Proteomics
  • Computational Infection Biology

The SBBS Principal Investigators of SBBS collaborate closely with UCD staff in the Schools of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Biology and Environmental Science, and the Conway Institute.  The School’s continuing ability to attract national and international funding in this area has resulted in a strong track record of publication and postgraduate training.

Infection Biology is a pivotal area of research in general, and complements all areas of biomedical research within SBBS.  Academic staff’s expertise from this research area benefits a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in exceptional research-led teaching.

The Butler lab studies factors controlling virulence in pathogenic fungi, in particular identifying the regulatory pathways controlling the growth of biofilms of Candida parapsilosis on medical devices; investigating the response of pathogenic yeast to hypoxia; and characterising the role of specific yeast transcription factors in virulence in animal models. We use a combination of next generation sequencing, comparative genomics and evolutionary biology approaches. Read more...

For more information see the Butler Lab web site

Keywords:  Fungal infections; Candida; Comparative genomics; genomics; transciptomics; fungal evolution.

Research Interests: antibiotics, antifungals, micro-organisms, synthetic biology. 

Director, Thematic PhD programme in Infection Biology

Research Interests: infection biology; Mycobacterium tuberculosis

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Chronic infection is the hallmark of cystic fibrosis lung disease. I have a key interest in respiratory pathogens that cause opportunistic infections in cystic fibrosis patients and in vaccine development.   In particular, I focus on Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc).  This is a highly antimicrobial resistant pathogen and effective treatments are challenging.   As a result of our investigations on the mechanisms of attachment of Bcc to lung epithelial cells, we identified a number of bacterial adhesins, which are potential vaccine candidates.   These antigens protect mice against Burkholderia and have potential as novel vaccine antigens.   I also have an interest host responses of epithelial cells, mechanisms of pathogenesis and mechanisms of bacterial adaptation which facilitate chronic colonisation.  We also investigate two other pathogens associated with CF-infections, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and genus Pandoraea.


Research Interests: biochemical mechanisms behind Prion diseases; Therapeutics; link between Prion disorders and Alzheimer's disease; aging; oxidative stress.

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Research Interests: Host-pathogen interactions, Bovine and cameline reproductive tract infections, Foal pneumonia, Water quality, Waterborne infectious disease, Microbial Source Tracking.


Research Interests: Host pathogen interaction, streptococci, staphylococci, E. coli, platelets, glycolipids, lipoteichoic acid, lipopolysaccharide, CD36, infection biology.


Research Interests: biocatalysis and metabolic engineering; biodegradable polymer synthesis by bacteria; Enzymes as biocatalysts in the transformation of aromatic and aliphatic substrates.

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Research Interests: Bacterial Gene Regulation; Food Pathogens; Campylobacter jejuniSalmonella Typhimurium; DNA Supercoiling.


Research Interests: bioinformatics, including gene expression data analysis; genomics.


Contact the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science

H1.38 O’Brien Centre for Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 2130 | E: undergrad.sbbs@ucd.ie | Location Map