Christopher Johnston, PhD

Bacteria that cause inflammation and disease within the mouth are increasingly being found in association with extra-oral infections and systemic disease. Christopher Johnston is interested in the virulence mechanisms of bacterial species and determining how bacteria from the mouth establish themselves at other sites in the body to cause inflammation and disease. “The sooner you identify and understand the underlying mechanisms used by these pathogens, the sooner you can design and create targeted therapeutic interventions to prevent disease” says Johnston.

Accordingly, his lab has three focus areas: bacterial epigenetics and virulence, synthetic microbiology, and the development of bacteriophage based therapeutics.  A current major focus of the lab is the development of synthetic microbiology applications to overturn the restrictive paradigm of genetic intractability facing microbiology. In collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) he is creating a platform to allow virtually any cultivable bacterial species to be genetically engineered; massively expediting fundamental examination of not-yet genetically tractable microbes relevant to human health and disease.


Background

Cork Institute of Technology, Cork, Ireland, BSc, 2008, Applied Bioscience, Cell and Molecular Biology
Cork Institute of Technology, Cork, Ireland, PhD, 2013,  Molecular Microbiology