Friday 2 February 2018, 1.00PM
Speaker(s): Dr Stephanie Schuller, Quadram Institute Bioscience, Norwich
Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) is a major foodborne pathogen which can cause severe systemic disease, particularly in young children. Virulence mechanisms include adherence to intestinal epithelium via attaching/effacing lesion formation mediated by a type III secretion system. In addition, potent Shiga toxins are released during infection which can leak into the bloodstream and cause permanent renal and neurological damage.
In our laboratory, we have developed advanced human cell- and tissue-based infection models which mimic specific conditions in the gut, such as low oxygen content and presence of a protective mucus layer. In my talk, I will discuss new insights into EHEC pathogenesis gained from these systems which will include the influence of oxygen on adherence and Shiga toxin production, EHEC interactions with the mucus layer and the innate epithelial immune response to infection.
After studying Biology at the universities of Bonn and Marburg in Germany, I completed my PhD at the University of Würzburg investigating how the gut pathogen Listeria monocytogenes modulates the macrophage immune response. In 1997, I came to the UK as a Marie Curie Fellow at Imperial College London where I worked on the interactions of Mycobacterium bovis with human macrophages. In 2001, I took up another postdoctoral position at the Royal Free Medical School, University College London which started my long-lasting relationship with diarrhoeagenic E. coli (EHEC and EPEC) and human intestinal epithelium. In 2010, I moved to Norwich where I established my own research group at the University of East Anglia and the Quadram Institute.