Dr. Mark Shepherd
Biography: Dr. Mark Shepherd joined the School of Biosciences in 2011. He was born in England, was brought up in North Wales, and subsequently studied Biochemistry at the University of Sheffield (1996-1999). He stayed in the Department of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology to undertake a PhD with Professor Neil Hunter FRS (1999-2003), where he developed his interest in the enzymology and spectroscopy of chlorophyll and haem biosynthesis. After completing his PhD studies, he conducted postdoctoral research with Prof. Harry Dailey at the University of Georgia (2003-2005), where his research focussed on the terminal enzymes of haem biosynthesis. This was followed by a move back to the University of Sheffield in 2005 to take up a postdoctoral position with Prof. Robert Poole, where he developed interests in E. coli respiration, globin proteins, and the response of bacteria to nitric oxide. A subsequent position at the University of Queensland (2010-2011) with Prof. Mark Schembri focussed on nitric oxide stress in Uropathogenic E. coli. In 2011 he moved to the University of Kent, where he is a Lecturer in Microbial Biochemistry, a member of the Microbial Pathogenesis Group, and Programme Director for the MSc Infectious Diseases course.
Abstract: E. coli causes serious conditions including sepsis, bladder infections, kidney failure, and dysentery. The emergence of drug resistance in pathogenic strains is an increasing problem on a global scale. We liaise with collaborators in the NHS to collect E. coli clinical isolates for antibiotic screening and for other phenotypic characterisation. Collaborative studies are underway to sequence the genomes of a large number of isolates that will provide insights into the prevalence, evolution, and spread of antibiotic resistance in this deadly human pathogen.