Professor John Boyce

EXPERTISE

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance
  • Bacterial pathogenesis
  • Host immunity to infections

John’s research is focused on elucidating the molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance, bacterial pathogenesis and host immunity to infections. His teamwork with a wide range of Gram-negative and Gram-positive pathogens, with a focus on Acinetobacter baumannii. His specialty area of expertise is next-generation high-throughput genomic sequencing to see how bacteria change in response to different antibiotics, and analyse the transcriptome, which is a reading of the genes that get expressed, and what changes occur in the presence of the antibiotic and that ultimately leads to resistance.

A/Professor Boyce is the head of the Bacterial Pathogenesis group in the Department of Microbiology, Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University. He is a member of the Infection & Immunity Program and the Department of Microbiology and co-ordinates the Honours program for the department. John is part of an international team investigating Acinetobacter baumannii its resistance mechanisms and also novel (new) treatments for infection. The National Institute of Health in the United States have awarded the international team $US3.4m, in which John leads the analysis of genomes and transcriptomes of resistant microbes

AMR FOCUS

  • Acinetobacter baumannii antibiotic resistance mechanisms.
  • How small RNAs control gene expression and protein production in Gram-negative bacteria.
  • Novel antibiotic combinations for improved killing of Gram-negative multi-drug resistant pathogens.
  • Combating Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in paediatric patients with cystic fibrosis.
  • Harnessing the type VI secretion system 'combat' arsenal of A. baumannii as a source of new antimicrobials and antimicrobial targets.

IMPACT

  • Novel application of small RNA inhibitors as anti-virulence and/or antimicrobials.
  • Rationally improved combination (two and three antibiotic regimens) dosing strategies to target MDR nosocomial pathogens.
  • Harnessing the type VI secretion system for live delivery of engineered antibacterial proteins as novel antibiotics.