Verlaine J Timms
Verlaine (nee Warburton) has researched the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori as research assistant at UNSW and clinical scientist for the Public Health Laboratory Service (UK), Leeds General Infirmary (UK) and Statens Serum Institute (Denmark). She is now investigating the link between Mycobacterium avium subspp. paratuberculosis (M. paratuberculosis) infection and the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in humans.
M. paratuberculosis is a known pathogen of cattle and animals. The link to IBD has been pursued for decades without success due to the difficulty of growing M. paratuberculosis in the laboratory and the challenge of molecular identification given its similarity to other Mycobacteria.
After developing a robust methodology for detecting M. paratuberculosis utilizing PCR, she explored a rare human isolate of M. paratuberculosis. In particular virulence determinants such as PE/PPE proteins and the mycobactin cluster were compared at the genomic level using bioinformatics.
Verlaine is interested in gut microbiology as a whole and hopes to use information from a rare human M. paratuberculosis isolate to shed more light on other unculturable bacteria from the gut.
Abstracts this author is presenting: