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The University of Southampton
Biological SciencesPostgraduate study

Mr Anton Stephan 

MRes Advanced Biological Science

Mr Anton Stephan's photo

Anton Stephan is an MRes Advanced Biological Science Student within Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton.

I graduated from University of Southampton in 2017 with a first-class BSc in Biology (hons). For my final year research project, I was looking at the biofilm dispersal mechanisms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa – a pathogenic bacteria which causes opportunistic infections in humans – and how the Bdla gene is involved in this mechanism.

During the summer in between my BSc and MRes, I undertook a research internship with the Environmental Healthcare Unit affiliated with the microbiology group. Here, I was using PNA Fluorescence In Situ Hybridisation (PNA-FISH) to detect Campylobacter bacteria in chicken caecal samples as provided by DEFRA for an ongoing government study which will eventually be published. This project was funded by the Society of Applied Microbiology and enabled me to fully understand the technique of PNA-FISH before I utilised it again in my MRes.

Research interests

My research area this year is focused on the clinical microbiology of the lungs. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a condition which is commonly associated with poor air quality and smoking and is characterised by breathing difficulties and tar like residues in the lungs. However, the microbial aspect has been overlooked and my research is looking to determine whether there is a phase shift in the microbial flora within the lungs and if this can be significant in the progression of the disease.

For this project, I am using three PNA-FISH probes to visualise three bacterial species – Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis – all of which are known to colonise pulmonary tissues.

Why I chose MRes Advanced Biological Sciences:

The MRes Advanced Biological Sciences course allows you to take ownership of a project that you are passionate about and extensively research in over a twelve month period. Unlike the integrated masters, which I was also considering, the longevity of the project really enables you to look deeper into the project, deciphering more significant and relevant results.

Aims for the future:

Having completed both my bachelors and masters research projects in the clinical side of biological sciences, I am now looking to apply my clinical research experiences to the fields of healthcare consultancy. I also am open to doing an industrially based PhD in the future where I can link the commercial side of science to novel research to progress the clinical field.

Supervisor(s): Professor Bill KeevilDr. Sandra WilksDr. Karl Staples

Research group

Microbiology

Affiliate research group

Clinical and Experimental Sciences

Mr Anton Stephan
Biological Sciences
Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Life Sciences Building 85
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
Southampton
SO17 1BJ
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