Predicting evolutionary pathways to β-lactam resistance

The emergence and spread of antibiotics resistances has become a worldwide health threat. To optimise the use of existing drugs and designing new ones, it is crucial to understand the determinants that constrain the evolutionary trajectories towards antibiotic resistance.


The main aim of this project is to develop predictions about the evolution of antibiotic resistance to an important class of antibiotics - the β-lactams.


We will combine laboratory experiments and theoretical modelling to study the dynamics and repeatability of evolution of bacterial populations challenged with antibiotics. Using the bacterium Escherichia coli and the antibiotic-degrading enzyme TEM-1 β-lactamase as experimental models, our work will include short term experiments on the establishment of de novo resistance-enhancing mutants, large-scale evolution experiments, e.g. on resistance effects of multiple mutations and on social interactions , as well as genetic and genomic analyses.

Student Opportunities

We are open to applications for thesis projects! We have different thesis topics available, including projects with Molecular Techniques, microscopy and Phenotyping.

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