Conor P O'Byrne
Director of the Bacterial Stress Response Group, Senior lecturer in Microbiology at the National University of Ireland, Galway. The research focus in my group is on the molecular mechanisms that food-borne bacterial pathogens use to sense and respond to harsh conditions in their environment. Pathogens encounter major physicochemical changes as they transition from food into the host, particularly in relation to pH, osmolarity, oxygen concentration, light and temperature. Understanding how pathogenic bacteria detect and respond to these changes is critical if we are to devise sensible strategies to prevent their entry into the food chain and to prevent infections from arising in the human population. In my laboratory we study two important food-borne pathogens, Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli.