As emphasised by the World Health Organisation, rising levels of resistance to antibiotics represent a global health crisis. I am studying the spread of bacteria and antibiotic resistance using whole genome sequencing. In collaboration with the Urban Zoonoses project and the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi, Kenya, I am using state-of-the-art phylogenetic methods to identify the most significant sources of bacterial disease and antibiotic resistance in low-income, urban areas of East Africa in order to inform public health policy.
My other work focuses on the transmission of disease within healthcare settings in the UK and I am keen to exploit sequence-based methods to understand the impact that patient movements and referrals have on the spread of infections such as MRSA. Having originally trained as a mathematician, I am also working on extensions to the coalescent theory to improve our ability to model and understand the biological processes underlying the history and transmission of a disease.