Nowadays it is widely known that the misuse (and abuse) of antibiotics has led to the emergence and spread of resistant microorganisms. This has brought about an undeniable threat to public health, an extra source of expenditure on health, as well as a complicated topic for scientists to dwell on. Martha Clokie has taken this challenge – she brought bacteriophages back into the spotlight, dedicating her scientific career to the study of these viruses and their impact on their hosts’ biology.
Born in 1973, Martha Clokie got her BSc in Biology from University of Dundee, followed by an MSc in Biodiversity from University of Edinburgh, and lastly a PhD from Leicester in Molecular Ecology. In her pursue for knowledge, she developed her Post-Doctoral research at the University of Warwick and in San Diego for 6 years. After being appointed as a lecturer at Leicester in 2007 and a Reader in 2011, she was finally promoted to Professor of Microbiology in 2016.
Currently Martha devotes her life to the study of bacteriophages and their bacterial hosts, having numerous publications in her field of study. By sequencing the genome of several bacteriophages, Martha seeks to shed light on the function of novel phage genes and the way phage infection alters host gene expression – thanks to this, we might one day be able to safely and effectively use bacteriophages and phage-derived products as an alternative to treating infections caused by ‘superbugs’, adding these viruses to our plethora of therapeutic weapons. Martha Clokie’s session at iMed Conference→ 9.0 will certainly help understand the scope of her research, which might pave the way for the discovery of an alternative course of action against resistant microorganisms.
“I have always stuck up for Western medicine. You can chew all the celery you want, but without antibiotics, three quarters of us would not be here.” – Hugh Laurie