Dr CAI Zhao
Research Fellow

PhD Project Supervisor: Professor Staffan Kjelleberg

Project Title: Identification of novel biomarkers for Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm infections via metabolomic profling

Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 is a Gram negative, opportunistic pathogen which causes serious medical problems in patients due to their capability to form antibiotic resistant biofilms. The formation of such biofilm can be regulated by bis-(3'-5')-cyclic dimeric guanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP). Identification of biomarkers related to c-di-GMP might provide alternative path to diagnose biofilm-related infections. However, there is lack of a large scale systematic investigation of the metabolome of biofilm bacterial cells. Comparative metabolomics characterisation of bacterial cells with different intracellular c-di-GMP levels will facilitate identification of biomarkers of biofilm formation, antibiotic resistance as well as efficacy of dispersal chemistry that aims at controlling c-di-GMP levels. In this project, metabolomics analysis will be performed to identify potential biomarkers of P. aeruginosa biofilm and reveal metabolic pathways in relation to virulence.