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Emily Wallace

Research Postgraduate (MSc)

Research Postgraduate (MSc) in the Department of Biosciences


I completed my undergraduate Biological Sciences degree at Durham University, and am currently undertaking a MRes in Dr Gary Sharples’ Lab. My project focuses on the antibacterial mechanism of action of metal-chelating agents against opportunistic pathogens. Chelating agents are organic or inorganic compounds that bind to positively-charged metal ions with high affinity and thereby mimic the conditions of nutritional immunity by depriving cells of essential metals. Despite their widespread applications in industry, healthcare and consumer products, little is known regarding the antimicrobial mechanism of action of chelating agents, particularly with respect to their effect on cellular metal concentrations. Chelating agents are a potential therapeutic solution to combat problematic antibiotic resistant bacteria in wound infections. A more complete understanding of their mode of action could also improve the sustainability of globally produced consumer goods, by allowing the judicious selection of more biodegradable and environmentally-friendly chelants as alternatives to those currently in extensive use. Therefore, during my master’s project, I aim to further develop our understanding of the mechanisms by which chelating agents restrict or prevent bacterial growth.