Gene transfer agents: prevalence, biology and impact on bacterial genetic diversity
Year of award: 2015
Dr Paul Fogg
University of York, United Kingdom
Rapid bacterial evolution is a major public health concern, and limiting the exchange of virulence or antimicrobial-resistant genes between bacteria is an acute challenge for modern medicine. Paul is interested in the molecular mechanisms of horizontal gene transfer, in particular gene transfer agents (GTAs). GTAs are unusual viruses of bacteria with the potential to move any gene from one bacterium to another at extraordinary frequencies, yet there are huge gaps in our knowledge of GTA biology. Paul's research aims to determine the fundamental mechanisms of GTA biology, their prevalence in pathogens and their impact on bacterial evolution.