The University of Southampton
Medicine

Professor Myron Christodoulides  BSc, PhD

Professor of Microbiology

Professor Myron Christodoulides 's photo
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Professor Myron Christodoulides is a Reader in Microbiology within Medicine at the University of Southampton.

Myron Christodoulides is a graduate in microbiology from University College London and the University of Glasgow and a specialist in bacteriology. After postdoctoral fellowships with the Government of Canada and at the University of Newcastle, Myron began a long association with the Neisseria Research Group at the University of Southampton. His basic research is in bacterial pathogenesis, with a primary emphasis on the cellular and molecular basis of meningitis. There is also a strong translational element to his research, which began from his PhD studies on the development of novel acellular pertussis (whooping cough) vaccines. Current vaccine research is goal-orientated towards identification and preclinical evaluation of Neisseria meningitidis antigens as potential vaccine candidates.

Potential postgraduate students, medical students and academic collaborators who are interested in research in microbial pathogenesis are warmly encouraged to contact Dr Christodoulides.

Qualifications

BSc, 1st Class, Microbiology, University College London (1983)
PhD, Microbiology, University of Glasgow (1987)

Appointments held

NERC Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow in Biotechnology, Health & Welfare, Canada, Ottawa (1987)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Pathology, University of Newcastle (1988)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Molecular Microbiology, University of Southampton (1990)

Postdoctoral Senior Research Fellow, Molecular Microbiology, University of Southampton (1994)

Senior Research Fellow, Molecular Microbiology, University of Southampton (1995)

Senior Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology, University of Southampton (2005-2012)

Research

Responsibilities

Publications

Teaching

Contact

Research interests

1. Meningococcal and Gonococcal Vaccines: developing vaccines for Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus) meningitis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae STDs has been a core area of my research and has depended a great deal on a basic understanding of bacterial antigen/virulence factor interactions with the human host. These projects involve investigating proteins contributing to inducing protective immunity in humans following bacterial infection and colonisation; structural protein studies; their role in human host cell interactions; immune-proteomics studies on responses to human meningococcal vaccines; development of DNA-based vaccines and nanoparticle delivery systems.

One meningococcal protein –the macrophage infectivity potentiator (MIP) protein -identified has now been licensed to a major pharmaceutical company. A patent application for another even more promising protein, the Adhesin Complex Protein (ACP) has been filed. A recent award from the MRC supports continued vaccine work on this protein. These antigens also have potential for gonococcal vaccines, a neglected area of research that needs re-energizing in light of the increased resistance of gonococci to antibiotics.

2. Pathogenesis of Neisseria infections.
a) Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonococcus) salpingitis: a long-standing collaboration with colleagues in Chile (Dr L Velasquez, Dr. Rodas), studying the molecular and cellular basis of gonococcal infection of the human female reproductive tract.
b) Neisseria meningitidis mechanisms of virulence and host cell responses.

3. Pathogenesis of other bacterial infections.
a) Streptococcus agalactiae neonatal meningitis.
b) Streptococcus pneumoniae infection: studying the molecular basis of pneumococcal empyema.
c) In collaboration with Dr. Parwez Hossain, University of Southampton, we are investigating the molecular and cellular basis of microbial keratitis, focusing on pathogen interactions with the cornea. These include diverse organisms as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, S. pneumonia, N.gonorrhoeae and Staphylococcus aureus. Collaboration with Dr. Schubert-Unkmeir, Wurzburg, Germany, on investigating bacterial mechanisms of invasion.
d) Streptococcus suis meningitis: collaboration with Professor Gottschalk, University of Montreal, Canada, fulfilling the ‘One Health’ agenda of tackling human and animal disease.
e) Collaboration with Dr Arden-Jones (Dermatology) to study microbial skin infection (Colworth iCASE, BBSRC-Unilever award).
f) Fusobacterium spp. interactions with human cells, in collaboration with Dr. Darryl. Hill, University of Bristol.

On-going research projects include:

  • Vaccines for meningococcal meningitis and gonococcal STD – examining MIP, ACP and other novel proteins.
  • Pathogenesis of bacterial meningitis.
  • Pathogenesis of gonococcal infection of human Fallopian tube.
  • Pathogenesis of pneumococcal infection.
  • Microbial keratitis
  • ‘One Health’ veterinary vaccinology: identifying commonality between human and animal pathogen vaccine antigens.



For further details of the work of the Neisseria Research Group, please follow the links below:
http://www.som.soton.ac.uk/research/molecular/labs/meningitis.htm
http://www.som.soton.ac.uk/staff/jeh/files/research_gono.htm

Research is/has been funded by the Medical Research Council, Meningitis UK, GlaxoSmithKline, The Wellcome Trust, MRC, British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy and Wessex Medical Trust.

Research group

Clinical and Experimental Sciences Academic Units

Affiliate research group

Infection and Immunity Research group

Postgraduate supervision (graduates)

Jenny Williams MPhil (2003) PhD (2011)
Mark Fowler, PhD (2004)
Anna Tocheva (2011)
Khalil Alkuwaity (2011)
Claire Heath (2011)
Dr Miao-Chiu Hung (2011)

Current students
Dr. Ahmad Elsahn
Hannia Liliana Almonacid Mendoza
Alexandra Jackson
Daniel Holbrook

Current laboratory members
Dr Miao-Chiu Hung
Dr. Mar Cendra Gascon
Dr. Maria Victoria Humbert
Dr. Elsahn, Hannia Mendoza
Alexandra Jackson
Daniel Holbrook


Number of postdoctoral researchers trained = 15(UK), 2 (Chile).

Internal MPhil and PhD examiner and External PhD examiner at several UK universities.

 

External responsibilities:

Chair of Scientific Medical Advisory Panel, Meningitis UK (2011-)
Member of Technology Strategy Board/MRC expert panel (2012-)
Science Media Expert, UK Veterinary Vaccine Network, ASM.
Ad hoc external manuscript reviewer for Science, Science Trans Med, PLOS Path, Mol Microbiol, Cell Microbiol, Infect Immun, J Bacteriol, Vaccine, Biochem and Biophy Acta, APMIS, Microbes Infect, Brain Research, J Leukocyte Biol, Microbiology, Crit Care, Inflamm Res, Adv Prevent Med., Scand J Immunol. Antimicrob Agents and Chemother, Cytokine, BBRes Comm., Int Journal Antimicrobial Agents, Prot Express Purification, Clin Microbiol Rev, Rubriq.com.
 Ad hoc grant reviewer for MRC, BBSRC, TSB, Wellcome Trust, WHO, The Meningitis Trust, Meningitis Research Foundation, MenNow, Hadwen Trust,  The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw).
Member of Editorial Board for Expert Review of Vaccines (2014-)
Member of Editorial Board for Adv Prevent Medicine (2012-)

 

Articles

Review

Books

Current undergraduate teaching:

BM5 Year 1 & 2 microbiology. Member of undergraduate BM5 course working parties, semester working parties, Year 1 & 2 steering group, intermediate examinations working party. Examination and course assignment marking (Years 1-5 as necessary).

Supervisor of BM5 BMedSci, Intercalated BSc and 4th Year Study in Depth research projects (more than 10 students in the past 5 years).

Lecturer to postgraduate 4 year PhD program in Infection and Immunity.

Lecturer on MSc programs in microbiology at the University of Surrey and University of Bath.

Past teaching responsibilities:

BM5 Year 2, Semester 3 co-ordinator - responsible for semester administration, exams and assessments, validation and moderation and review (retired).

BM5 Year 2, Gastro-intestinal systems course co-ordinator (retired).

BM5 Head of Field Microbiology for BMEDSCI/MMEDSCI projects, responsible for project-student matching (retired).

Contributor as facilitator on BM4 and IPL courses.

Professor Myron Christodoulides
Neisseria Research laboratory, Molecular Microbiology, MP814, Sir Henry Wellcome Laboratories, South Academic and Pathology Block, Division of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Southampton Faculty of Medicine, Southampton General Hospital Tremona Road Southampton SO16 6YD. Phone: (023) 8120 8896

Room Number:SGH/LC79/MP814

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