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An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge


I am currently a bioinformatician for the Global Pneumococcal sequencing (GPS, project. GPS is sequencing >20,000 pneumococcal isolates collected around the globe, especially from developing countries, to investigate the adaptive changes that mediate the emergence, expansion and persistence of pneumococcal lineages after the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs). The project also aims to discover novel mechanisms by which the pneumococcus evades antimicrobials.

I have come from a clinical microbiology background and acquired my bioinformatic skills during my PhD when I investigated the transmission of epidemic plasmids harbouring genes conferring resistance to clinically important antibiotics such as cephalosporins (e.g. blaCTX-M), carbapenems (e.g. blaNDM, blaIMP, blaKPC), colisitin (e.g. mcr), fosfomycin (e.g. fosA3) and nitrofurantoin (e.g. oqxAB). I have a particular interest in understanding how mobile genetic element to spread antibiotic resistance genes and developing tools to predict antimicrobial susceptibility from whole-genome sequences that could potentially be applied in clinical laboratories.


Understanding the mechanisms by which microbes evade vaccine and antibiotic




Key publications: 

1.         Lo SW, Gladstone RA, van Tonder AJ, Hawkins PA, Kwambana-Adams B, Cornick JE, Madhi SA, Nzenze SA, du Plessis M, Kandasamy R, Carter PE, Eser OK, Ho PL, Elmdaghri N, Shakoor S, Clarke SC, Antonio M, Everett DB, von Gottberg A, Klugman KP, McGee L, Breiman RF, Bentley SD. 2018. Global Distribution of Invasive Serotype 35D Streptococcus pneumoniae Isolates following Introduction of 13-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine. J Clin Microbiol 56.

2.         Lo SW, Kumar N, Wheeler NE. 2018. Breaking the code of antibiotic resistance. Nat Rev Microbiol 16:262.

3.         Ho PL, Yau CY, Ho LY, Chen JHK, Lai ELY, Lo SW, Tse CWS, Chow KH. 2017. Rapid detection of cfiA metallo-beta-lactamase-producing Bacteroides fragilis by the combination of MALDI-TOF MS and CarbaNP. J Clin Pathol 70:868-873.

4.         Ho PL, Ng KY, Lo WU, Law PY, Lai EL, Wang Y, Chow KH. 2016. Plasmid-Mediated OqxAB Is an Important Mechanism for Nitrofurantoin Resistance in Escherichia coli. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 60:537-43.

5.         Lo WU, Cheung YY, Lai E, Lung D, Que TL, Ho PL. 2013. Complete sequence of an IncN plasmid, pIMP-HZ1, carrying blaIMP-4 in a Klebsiella pneumoniae strain associated with medical travel to China. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 57:1561-2.

6.         Ho PL, Chan J, Lo WU, Lai EL, Cheung YY, Lau TC, Chow KH. 2013. Prevalence and molecular epidemiology of plasmid-mediated fosfomycin resistance genes among blood and urinary Escherichia coli isolates. J Med Microbiol 62:1707-13.

7.         Ho PL, Lo WU, Yeung MK, Li Z, Chan J, Chow KH, Yam WC, Tong AH, Bao JY, Lin CH, Lok S, Chiu SS. 2012. Dissemination of pHK01-like incompatibility group IncFII plasmids encoding CTX-M-14 in Escherichia coli from human and animal sources. Vet Microbiol 158:172-9.

8.         Ho PL, Li Z, Lo WU, Cheung YY, Lin CH, Sham PC, Cheng VC, Ng TK, Que TL, Chow KH. 2012. Identification and characterization of a novel incompatibility group X3 plasmid carrying bla NDM-1 in Enterobacteriaceae isolates with epidemiological links to multiple geographical areas in China. Emerg Microbes Infect 1:e39.

9.         Ho PL, Lo WU, Yeung MK, Lin CH, Chow KH, Ang I, Tong AH, Bao JY, Lok S, Lo JY. 2011. Complete sequencing of pNDM-HK encoding NDM-1 carbapenemase from a multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli strain isolated in Hong Kong. PLoS One 6:e17989.

10.       Lo WU, Ho PL, Chow KH, Lai EL, Yeung F, Chiu SS. 2010. Fecal carriage of CTXM type extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing organisms by children and their household contacts. J Infect 60:286-92.


Other publications: 

Other 30 publications are listed in the following link:

Project Manager / Principal Bioinformatician, Wellcome Sanger Institute
Genomics, bacterial diseases, LMIC, antimicrobial resistance
 Stephanie Wai-U Lo

Contact Details

WT Genome Campus
Wellcome Sanger Institute
CB10 1SA
Not available for consultancy