Dr Jeremy Barr

EXPERTISE

  • Microbiology
  • Bacteriophage therapy
  • Resensitising bacteria to Antibiotics

Jeremy leads an experimental biology lab that utilises a range of cross-disciplinary techniques to investigate fundamental and mechanistic bacteriophage biology. The group studies the tri-partite symbioses formed between bacteriophage, their bacterial hosts and eukaryotic cell surfaces and immunity. Jeremy's work supports advancement towards the standardisation and reasonable use of phage-antibiotic combination therapy. His breakthrough work proposes the use of phages, with a posteriori knowledge of their receptors, to enable both effective antimicrobial treatment and the informed prediction of phage-resistance outcomes, with exploitable fitness trade-offs to extend the clinical impact of phage therapy. He is a Bacteriophage biologist with expertise in combating multi-drug resistant bacterial infections, phage biology, production and purification.

Dr Barr completed his PhD in microbiology at the University of Queensland in 2011 as part of the Advanced Water Management Center. He completed a postdoctoral position as Adjunct Assistant Professor, working under the tutelage of Prof. Forest Rohwer at San Diego State University. While there, he studied the interactions of bacteriophage with mucosal surfaces that provided a non-host-derived immunity. In 2016, he established the  Bacteriophage Biology Research Group, in the Faculty of Science at Monash University. He has a strong peer reviewed publication record, with papers in PNAS and Nature Comms.

AMR FOCUS

  • Systems pharmacology approaches for predicting and validating antibiotic/small-molecule non-antibiotic/biologics combinations for new targeted therapies.
  • How phages ‘hunt’ bacteria whilst on mucosal surfaces in the body.
  • Experimental lab-on-chip models to simulate these pathogen interaction environments.
  • Fitness costs for bacteria when generating resistance to phages and how this reduces virulence and even re-sensitisation to antibiotics.
  • Phage-bacterial co-evolution.

IMPACT

  • Bacteriophage therapy including personalised bacteriophage therapeutic cocktails.
  • Resensitisation of bacteria to antibiotics.
  • Successful implementation of phage therapy in a compassionate use case study targeting multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens.