Dr Laura McCaughey

  • Lecturer in Biomolecular Sciences (Life Sciences Biomolecular Sciences)

Biography

Laura obtained an MSci in Forensic and Analytical Chemistry from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland, in 2010.

During this degree, Laura undertook a one-year placement at GlaxoSmithKline, Stevenage, UK, where she worked as an analytical chemist.

She was then awarded a Wellcome Trust PhD scholarship at the University of Glasgow. During her PhD, and her successive Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Technology in Sydney, Laura investigated the use of novel species-specific protein antibiotics, termed S-type pyocins, to kill the notoriously difficult-to-treat, and often multi-drug resistant, bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. 

This research involved the discovery, and mechanistic, structural and biophysical characterisation of, pyocins, and the testing of these antibiotics in animal models.

Research interests

Research

Laura’s main research interests surround ‘How do bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics?' and 'How can we identify novel approaches to antibiotic development to overcome this problem?'

 

Public Engagement

Over the last ten years Laura has been actively involved in highlighting the problem of antibiotic resistance, and the interventions necessary to prevent the problem escalating further, to the public. Laura has a demonstrated ability at interpreting and conveying complex information to non-specialists and non-scientists through this active public engagement work. She has written articles & blogs, done radio interviews/podcasts and spoken at numerous public events on the topic of antibiotic resistance. She has also carried out an internship at the ABC (Australian Broadcast Corporation) working on their flagship science program Catalyst and has undertaken an intensive course 'strategies in science communication', at the Australian National University, Canberra.

Laura was also project manager for Soapbox Science Sydney 2019 & 2020, and has plans to bring it to Glasgow in 2022. Soapbox Science is a large scale public science event promoting female scientist and the science that they do (https://soapboxsciencesydney.com). Laura has a creative eye and does all of the artwork, website design and video editing for Soapbox Science Sydney.

Laura was awarded the Australian Institute for Policy and Science NSW Young Tall Poppy of the Year award in 2020 in recognition for her science communication endeavours.

 

Publications

List by: Type | Date

Jump to: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2012 | 2010
Number of items: 13.

2021

Hynen, A. L., Lazenby, J. J., Savva, G. M., McCaughey, L. C. , Turnbull, L., Nolan, L. M. and Whitchurch, C. B. (2021) Multiple holins contribute to extracellular DNA release in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. Microbiology, 167(2), 000990. (doi: 10.1099/mic.0.000990) (PMID:33400641) (PMCID:PMC8131026)

2020

Nolan, L. M., McCaughey, L. C. , Merjane, J., Turnbull, L. and Whitchurch, C. B. (2020) ChpC controls twitching motility-mediated expansion of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms in response to serum albumin, mucin and oligopeptides. Microbiology, 166(7), pp. 669-678. (doi: 10.1099/mic.0.000911) (PMID:32478653) (PMCID:PMC7657506)

2019

Agbowuro, A. A., Hwang, J., Peel, E., Mazraani, R., Springwald, A., Marsh, J. W., McCaughey, L. , Gamble, A. B., Huston, W. M. and Tyndall, J. D.A. (2019) Structure-activity analysis of peptidic Chlamydia HtrA inhibitors. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, 27(18), pp. 4185-4199. (doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2019.07.049) (PMID:31395511)

2018

Agbowuro, A. A., Mazraani, R., McCaughey, L. C. , Huston, W. M., Gamble, A. B. and Tyndall, J. D.A. (2018) Stereochemical basis for the anti-chlamydial activity of the phosphonate protease inhibitor JO146. Tetrahedron, 74(12), pp. 1184-1190. (doi: 10.1016/j.tet.2017.10.031)

2017

White, P. et al. (2017) Exploitation of an iron transporter for bacterial protein antibiotic import. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114(45), pp. 12051-12056. (doi: 10.1073/pnas.1713741114) (PMID:29078392)

2016

Klein, A., Wojdyla, J. A., Joshi, A., Josts, I., McCaughey, L. C. , Housden, N. G., Kaminska, R., Byron, O. , Walker, D. and Kleanthous, C. (2016) Structural and biophysical analysis of nuclease protein antibiotics. Biochemical Journal, 473(18), pp. 2799-2812. (doi: 10.1042/bcj20160544) (PMID:27402794) (PMCID:PMC5264503)

McCaughey, L. C. , Josts, I., Grinter, R., White, P., Byron, O. , Tucker, N. P., Matthews, J. M., Kleanthous, C., Whitchurch, C. and Walker, D. (2016) Discovery, characterization and in vivo activity of pyocin SD2, a protein antibiotic from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Biochemical Journal, 473(15), pp. 2345-2358. (doi: 10.1042/bcj20160470) (PMID:27252387) (PMCID:PMC4964976)

McCaughey, L. C., Ritchie, N. D., Douce, G. R. , Evans, T. J. and Walker, D. (2016) Efficacy of species-specific protein antibiotics in a murine model of acute Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection. Scientific Reports, 6, 30201. (doi: 10.1038/srep30201) (PMID:27444885) (PMCID:PMC4957109)

2015

Joshi, A. et al. (2015) Structures of the ultra-high-affinity protein–protein complexes of pyocins S2 and AP41 and their cognate immunity proteins from pseudomonas aeruginosa. Journal of Molecular Biology, 427(17), pp. 2852-2866. (doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2015.07.014) (PMID:26215615) (PMCID:PMC4548480)

2014

Grinter, R., Josts, I., Zeth, K., Roszak, A. W., McCaughey, L. C. , Cogdell, R. J. , Milner, J. J. , Kelly, S. M., Byron, O. and Walker, D. (2014) Structure of the atypical bacteriocin pectocin M2 implies a novel mechanism of protein uptake. Molecular Microbiology, 93(2), pp. 234-246. (doi: 10.1111/mmi.12655) (PMID:24865810) (PMCID:PMC4671253)

McCaughey, L. C. et al. (2014) Lectin-like bacteriocins from Pseudomonas spp. utilise D-rhamnose containing lipopolysaccharide as a cellular receptor. PLoS Pathogens, 10(2), e1003898. (doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003898) (PMID:24516380) (PMCID:PMC3916391)

2012

Brown, C. L., Smith, K., McCaughey, L. and Walker, D. (2012) Colicin-like bacteriocins as novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic biofilm-mediated infection. Biochemical Society Transactions, 40(6), pp. 1549-1552. (doi: 10.1042/BST20120241) (PMID:23176515)

2010

Martin, L. C. , Larmour, I. A., Faulds, K. and Graham, D. (2010) Turning up the lights—fabrication of brighter SERRS nanotags. Chemical Communications, 46(29), pp. 5247-5249. (doi: 10.1039/C0CC00722F) (PMID:20567793)

This list was generated on Mon Oct 18 18:04:42 2021 BST.
Jump to: Articles
Number of items: 13.

Articles

Hynen, A. L., Lazenby, J. J., Savva, G. M., McCaughey, L. C. , Turnbull, L., Nolan, L. M. and Whitchurch, C. B. (2021) Multiple holins contribute to extracellular DNA release in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. Microbiology, 167(2), 000990. (doi: 10.1099/mic.0.000990) (PMID:33400641) (PMCID:PMC8131026)

Nolan, L. M., McCaughey, L. C. , Merjane, J., Turnbull, L. and Whitchurch, C. B. (2020) ChpC controls twitching motility-mediated expansion of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms in response to serum albumin, mucin and oligopeptides. Microbiology, 166(7), pp. 669-678. (doi: 10.1099/mic.0.000911) (PMID:32478653) (PMCID:PMC7657506)

Agbowuro, A. A., Hwang, J., Peel, E., Mazraani, R., Springwald, A., Marsh, J. W., McCaughey, L. , Gamble, A. B., Huston, W. M. and Tyndall, J. D.A. (2019) Structure-activity analysis of peptidic Chlamydia HtrA inhibitors. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, 27(18), pp. 4185-4199. (doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2019.07.049) (PMID:31395511)

Agbowuro, A. A., Mazraani, R., McCaughey, L. C. , Huston, W. M., Gamble, A. B. and Tyndall, J. D.A. (2018) Stereochemical basis for the anti-chlamydial activity of the phosphonate protease inhibitor JO146. Tetrahedron, 74(12), pp. 1184-1190. (doi: 10.1016/j.tet.2017.10.031)

White, P. et al. (2017) Exploitation of an iron transporter for bacterial protein antibiotic import. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114(45), pp. 12051-12056. (doi: 10.1073/pnas.1713741114) (PMID:29078392)

Klein, A., Wojdyla, J. A., Joshi, A., Josts, I., McCaughey, L. C. , Housden, N. G., Kaminska, R., Byron, O. , Walker, D. and Kleanthous, C. (2016) Structural and biophysical analysis of nuclease protein antibiotics. Biochemical Journal, 473(18), pp. 2799-2812. (doi: 10.1042/bcj20160544) (PMID:27402794) (PMCID:PMC5264503)

McCaughey, L. C. , Josts, I., Grinter, R., White, P., Byron, O. , Tucker, N. P., Matthews, J. M., Kleanthous, C., Whitchurch, C. and Walker, D. (2016) Discovery, characterization and in vivo activity of pyocin SD2, a protein antibiotic from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Biochemical Journal, 473(15), pp. 2345-2358. (doi: 10.1042/bcj20160470) (PMID:27252387) (PMCID:PMC4964976)

McCaughey, L. C., Ritchie, N. D., Douce, G. R. , Evans, T. J. and Walker, D. (2016) Efficacy of species-specific protein antibiotics in a murine model of acute Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection. Scientific Reports, 6, 30201. (doi: 10.1038/srep30201) (PMID:27444885) (PMCID:PMC4957109)

Joshi, A. et al. (2015) Structures of the ultra-high-affinity protein–protein complexes of pyocins S2 and AP41 and their cognate immunity proteins from pseudomonas aeruginosa. Journal of Molecular Biology, 427(17), pp. 2852-2866. (doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2015.07.014) (PMID:26215615) (PMCID:PMC4548480)

Grinter, R., Josts, I., Zeth, K., Roszak, A. W., McCaughey, L. C. , Cogdell, R. J. , Milner, J. J. , Kelly, S. M., Byron, O. and Walker, D. (2014) Structure of the atypical bacteriocin pectocin M2 implies a novel mechanism of protein uptake. Molecular Microbiology, 93(2), pp. 234-246. (doi: 10.1111/mmi.12655) (PMID:24865810) (PMCID:PMC4671253)

McCaughey, L. C. et al. (2014) Lectin-like bacteriocins from Pseudomonas spp. utilise D-rhamnose containing lipopolysaccharide as a cellular receptor. PLoS Pathogens, 10(2), e1003898. (doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003898) (PMID:24516380) (PMCID:PMC3916391)

Brown, C. L., Smith, K., McCaughey, L. and Walker, D. (2012) Colicin-like bacteriocins as novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic biofilm-mediated infection. Biochemical Society Transactions, 40(6), pp. 1549-1552. (doi: 10.1042/BST20120241) (PMID:23176515)

Martin, L. C. , Larmour, I. A., Faulds, K. and Graham, D. (2010) Turning up the lights—fabrication of brighter SERRS nanotags. Chemical Communications, 46(29), pp. 5247-5249. (doi: 10.1039/C0CC00722F) (PMID:20567793)

This list was generated on Mon Oct 18 18:04:42 2021 BST.

Teaching

Laura is involved in several aspects of teaching across L1-L4 for Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular & Cellular Biology.

Professional activities & recognition

Prizes, awards & distinctions

  • 2020: NSW Young Tall Poppy of the Year award (Australian Institute of Policy & Science)
  • 2016: Travel grant for academic collaboration (Campus Travel)
  • 2016: ComBio Early Career Researcher award (Sydney Protein Group)
  • 2016: Young Investigators award (Lorne Conference on Protein Structure and Function)

Research fellowships

  • 2015 - 2021: Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship