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An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge


I am currently studying within the laboratory of Dr. Martin Welch and my PhD project aims to develop a continuous-flow, in vitro model which is physiologically representative of the cystic fibrosis airways. Using the model I am able to co-culture the major pathogens associated with the cystic fibrosis (CF) airways that would ordinarily outcompete one another under taditional culture methods. Hence, my model can be used for the real-time tracking of pathogen-pathogen interactions within a robust and highly defined (yet nutritionally and physiologically relevant) model and so we can begin to understand subtle interspecies interactions. My model is currently undergoing refinement to allow the stable recapitulation of the full polymicrobial communities associated with patient airway infections (by inocculating the model directly with sputum samples obtained from CF-patients), in order to study interactions and response to therapeutic interventions in a more clinically relevant setting.

PhD Student and Research Assistant
Developing an in vitro model for the stable recapitulation of cystic fibrosis associated polymicrobial communities in the lab.
 Thomas  O'Brien
Not available for consultancy


Departments and institutes: 
Person keywords: 
Host-Pathogen Interaction
Pathogen Evolution