Professor Elizabeth Hartland presented the 2014 Skerman Lecture on 9 April to an audience of approximately 120 members of UQ's School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences at UQ St Lucia.

Professor Hartland, Head of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne, outlined her research into Escherichia coli, a dangerous pathogen.

In recognition that the audience comprised members from across the School's disciplines, Professor Hartland introduced her topic by pointing out recent examples of E. coli in the media, including recent research published by members of the School, and the 2011 outbreak in Germany.

"Many bacterial pathogens have evolved distinct ways of disarming the inflammatory response and prolonging infection," said Professor Hartland.

"Enteropathogenic and enterohemorrhagic E. coli interfere with the immune response by injecting virulence effector proteins into the host cell that shut down innate immune signaling pathways.

"We have identified effector proteins that prevent the activation of death receptor signaling.

"Through the action of these effector proteins, EPEC and EHEC can delay both inflammation and apoptosis, thereby inhibiting two major innate host responses," she said.

The Skerman Lecture recognises Dr Vic Skerman, Foundation Professor of Microbiology at The University of Queensland and a major contributor to the development of Microbiology at UQ and within Australia.

The School would also like to acknowledge that the audience comprised many former members of staff who had worked with Professor Skerman.

To see more photos from the event, visit the Facebook album.

For upcoming events, check the School's calendar.


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