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Dr Katie Laird

Job: Reader in Microbiology, Head of the Infectious Disease Research Group and Faculty Deputy Head of Research Students

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: Leicester School of Pharmacy

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: +44 (0)116 207 8106

E: klaird@dmu.ac.uk

W: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/hls

Social Media: twitter.com/katielaird

 

Personal profile

Dr Katie Laird is a Reader in Microbiology in the School of Pharmacy and head of the Infectious Disease Research Group at  De Montfort University. She has a BSc (Hons) in Biology and obtained a PhD in applied microbiology in 2008.

During her PhD she developed and patented an essential oil based antimicrobial vapour, whilst her postdoctoral work included the assessment of natural antimicrobials efficacy against post-harvest pathogens.

Her research is centred on the prevention of transmission of Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAIs) particularly the use of novel antimicrobials. Current research projects include C. difficile transmission on healthcare laundry, reducing the attachment of micro-organisms to textiles in the healthcare arena, the use of metal nanoparticles against biofilms and the development of natural products for the use in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry. Other projects inculde the assessment of the lay publics understanding of antibiotic resistance. Katie is the author of "A Germ's Journey" Educational Resources teaching young children about health hygiene having an impact globally.

Research group affiliations

Infectious Disease Research Group

Publications and outputs 

  • Stability of Model Human Coronaviruses on a Range of Textile Fibre Types
    Stability of Model Human Coronaviruses on a Range of Textile Fibre Types Owen, Lucy; Shivkumar, Maitreyi; Laird, Katie Previous research indicates that SARS-CoV-2 persists on stainless steel and plastic for 72 hours to 7 days and appears to be less stable on porous surfaces. However, there is limited research on the stability of coronaviruses on a range of textiles, of which the composition and construction could have an effect on its persistence. Determination of the persistence of coronaviruses on textiles is required to evaluate the potential risk of fomite transmission via textiles; this is of particular importance in healthcare settings to inform laundering policies for the adequate decontamination of hospital linens and staff uniforms. The aim of this study is to determine the stability of model human coronaviruses for SARS-CoV-2 on a range of textile fibres and how best to decontaminate them. Human coronavirus (HCoV) OC43 was cultured on HCT-8 cells and HCoV-229E was cultured on MRC-5 cells. The optimal recovery method of virus from textiles was first determined by comparing the recovery efficiency of HCoV-OC43 from 100% cotton using differing diluents (cell culture media, phosphate buffered saline (PBS) and maximum recovery diluent (MRD)) and recovery methods (vortexing, stomaching and shaking by hand). The stability of HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-229E was then determined on 100% cotton, polyester/cotton blend, 100% polyester and calf leather up to 48 hours. A no virus (culture media only) control was included. Infectious virus was quantified by titration of the supernatant on BHK-21 cells in 96-well plates. The recovery of HCoV-OC43 from 100% cotton was comparable between PBS and culture media as diluents, whereas recovery was reduced using MRD. Shaking by hand was the most efficient recovery method used, with 98.56% of the inoculum being recovered. The stability of HCoV-OC43 was greatest on polyester, where it remained infectious for at least 6 hours. Investigations into the decontamination of model human coronaviruses under wash parameters are ongoing. Investigations on the survival of coronaviruses is required to evaluate the infection control risk of contaminated textiles and to identify laundering parameters required to adequately decontaminate linen. This study demonstrates that model coronaviruses survive on textiles, indicating that there may be a risk within the healthcare and domestic environments.
  • Evaluating approaches to designing effective Co-Created hand-hygiene interventions for children in India, Sierra Leone and the UK
    Evaluating approaches to designing effective Co-Created hand-hygiene interventions for children in India, Sierra Leone and the UK Crosby, Sapphire; Younie, Sarah; Williamson, Iain; Laird, Katie open access article
  • A Germ’s Journey: the impact of a co-created educational hand-hygiene intervention to address UN sustainable development goals in education and health in the UK and low-and-middle-income-countries
    A Germ’s Journey: the impact of a co-created educational hand-hygiene intervention to address UN sustainable development goals in education and health in the UK and low-and-middle-income-countries Crosby, Sapphire; Laird, Katie; Younie, Sarah The ‘Germ’s Journey’ health-education intervention was developed to address the challenge of teaching young children efficient handwashing techniques to tackle infection. WHO state that effective handwashing is integral for preventing the transmission of infectious disease, with evidence stating that one-third of infections could be prevented with correct handwashing. Children are particularly vulnerable in relation to both the spreading and contracting of infectious disease. Communicable diseases present as a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among children globally with diarrheal disease accounting for 1 in 9 child deaths (approximately 2,195 deaths a day). Despite this there are few handwashing resources specifically aimed at young children. Also, this age group is known to be particularly tactile and to spread germs through contact, therefore, handwashing quality is crucial in preventing the spread of infectious diseases. This project has demonstrated that multi-component resources improve handwashing behaviour in children and knowledge of germ transfer, addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals for health (SDG3) and education (SDG4). This poster presents findings from a collection of studies that, following a Co-Creation and Participatory Action Research (PAR) model, evaluate whether specifically developed resources (‘A Germ’s Journey’) aid children in the UK and India’s understanding of hand-hygiene principles. Furthermore, it discusses how the findings can both inform the future development of culturally relevant resources for low-and-middle-income countries such as Sierra Leone, and have an impact on the reduction of childhood illnesses associated with diarrhoea and vomiting in the state of Gujarat, India. Educational health-hygiene workshops were conducted with schools in the UK and Sierra Leone and in collaboration with NGOs in India in areas of considerable socio-economic disadvantage. Mixed-method data was collected from children using quasi-experimental methods, using pre-workshop questions, follow-up questions, observations and baseline and post-workshop assessments. Data was collected from teachers using questionnaires and focus groups.
  • Development of a Silver-Based Dual-Function Antimicrobial Laundry Additive and Textile Coating for the Decontamination of Healthcare Laundry
    Development of a Silver-Based Dual-Function Antimicrobial Laundry Additive and Textile Coating for the Decontamination of Healthcare Laundry Owen, Lucy; Laird, Katie Aims: To repurpose a silver-based antimicrobial textile coating product (Micro-Fresh 1911) as a dual-function antimicrobial laundry additive and textile coating. Methods and Results: Survival of Escherichia coli or Staphylococcus aureus type and clinical isolates in a domestic 40°C wash was assessed with and without soiling and biological detergent. Washing with 2% w/v silver additive (wash phase) reduced E. coli and S. aureus by 7.14-8.08 log10 and no cross-contamination was observed. Under dirty conditions, 0.5% silver additive in the rinse phase of a wash with biological detergent reduced E. coli and S. aureus by 7.98-8.40 log10 (0.00-1.42 log10 cross contamination). ISO 20645:2006 and ISO 20743:2013 methods were used to assess the antimicrobial activity of polycotton washed with 2% w/v silver additive against S. aureus and E. coli. The treated polycotton was antimicrobial against E. coli and S. aureus type and clinical isolates and remains active after at least one further wash cycle at 40°C or 73°C. Conclusions: The silver additive exhibits antimicrobial activity in a 40°C domestic wash, preventing cross contamination onto clean textiles and depositing an antimicrobial coating onto polycotton. Significance and Impact of Study: The survival of microorganisms on healthcare uniforms during domestic laundering presents a potential risk of contaminating the home, cross-contamination of other clothing within the wash and transmitting potential pathogens back into healthcare settings via contaminated uniforms. Silver may be useful as an antimicrobial laundry additive to decontaminate healthcare laundry washed at low temperatures in domestic and industrial settings, to therefore reduce the potential risk of transmitting microorganisms within the domestic and clinical environments. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • The role of textiles as fomites in the healthcare environment: A review of the infection control risk
    The role of textiles as fomites in the healthcare environment: A review of the infection control risk Owen, Lucy; Laird, Katie Background. Infectious diseases are a significant threat in both healthcare and community settings. Healthcare associated infections (HCAIs) in particular are a leading cause of complications during hospitalisation. Contamination of the healthcare environment is recognised as a source of infectious disease yet the significance of porous surfaces including healthcare textiles as fomites is not well understood. It is currently assumed there is little infection risk from textiles due to a lack of direct epidemiological evidence. Decontamination of healthcare textiles is achieved with heat and/or detergents by commercial or in-house laundering with the exception of healthcare worker uniforms which are laundered domestically in some countries. The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for rigorous infection control including effective decontamination of potential fomites in the healthcare environment. This article aims to review the evidence for the role of textiles in the transmission of infection, outline current procedures for laundering healthcare textiles and review studies evaluating the decontamination efficacy of domestic and industrial laundering. Methodology. Pubmed, Google Scholar and Web of Science were searched for publications pertaining to the survival and transmission of microorganisms on textiles with a particular focus on the healthcare environment. Results. A number of studies indicate that microorganisms survive on textiles for extended periods of time and can transfer on to skin and other surfaces suggesting it is biologically plausible that HCAIs and other infectious diseases can be transmitted directly through contact with contaminated textiles. Accordingly, there are a number of case studies that link small outbreaks with inadequate laundering or infection control processes surrounding healthcare laundry. Studies have also demonstrated the survival of potential pathogens during laundering of healthcare textiles, which may increase the risk of infection supporting the data published on specific outbreak case studies. Conclusions. There are no large-scale epidemiological studies demonstrating a direct link between HCAIs and contaminated textiles yet evidence of outbreaks from published case studies should not be disregarded. Adequate microbial decontamination of linen and infection control procedures during laundering are required to minimise the risk of infection from healthcare textiles. Domestic laundering of healthcare worker uniforms is a particular concern due to the lack of control and monitoring of decontamination, offering a route for potential pathogens to enter the clinical environment. Industrial laundering of healthcare worker uniforms provides greater assurances of adequate decontamination compared to domestic laundering, due to the ability to monitor laundering parameters; this is of particular importance during the COVID-19 pandemic to minimise any risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. open access article
  • The Truth About COVID-19: 4 Part Podcast Series
    The Truth About COVID-19: 4 Part Podcast Series Laird, Katie; Younie, Sarah
  • Dual-Function Antimicrobial Laundry Supplement and Textile Coating for the Decontamination of Healthcare Laundry
    Dual-Function Antimicrobial Laundry Supplement and Textile Coating for the Decontamination of Healthcare Laundry Owen, Lucy; Laird, Katie Background: In the UK nurses’ uniforms are domestically laundered, posing a threat of cross contamination of healthcare-associated infections. The UK Department of Health recommends washing uniforms at 60ºC, however nurses most commonly wash them at 40ºC. Bacteria survive on textiles washed at low temperatures; 4.28-4.62 log10 Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus survived washing at 40ºC and cross contaminated other textiles in the wash. Antimicrobial laundry supplements could sanitise textiles and limit cross-contamination. A supplement that deposits an antibacterial coating onto textiles could also reduce contamination between washes. This study aimed to investigate a silver-based antimicrobial textile coating product (Micro-Fresh 1911) as a dual-use antimicrobial laundry supplement and textile coating. Materials/methods: Polycotton inoculated with 108 CFU/mL E. coli or S. aureus (type and clinical isolates) were washed with 2% Micro-Fresh 1911 in a domestic washing machine (40°C) and surviving microorganisms enumerated. Washes were conducted with and without soiling and biological detergent. Control washes were water alone. The antimicrobial activity of polycotton washed with Micro-Fresh 1911 at 40°C was assessed against S. aureus and E. coli using ISO 20645 and ISO 20743 methods. Controls were polycotton washed in water and textile padded with Micro-Fresh 2611. Results: Washing with Micro-Fresh 1911 reduced E. coli and S. aureus by 7.14-8.08 log10. No cells were recovered from sterile textile, whereas washing with water alone reduced E. coli and S. aureus by 2.21-4.25 log10 and resulted in 3.13-4.01 log10 CFU cross-contamination. Combining Micro-Fresh 1911 with biological detergent reduced E. coli and S. aureus by 5.56-6.65 log10. Fabric washed with Micro-Fresh 1911 was antimicrobial against E. coli and S. aureus type and clinical isolates according to ISO 20645 and ISO 20743. The antimicrobial coating remained after washing the fabric in water once at 40°C and 73°C. Conclusions: Micro-Fresh 1911 exibits antimicrobial activity in a 40ºC domestic wash and deposits an antimicrobial layer onto polycotton. Micro-Fresh could be employed as an antimicrobial laundering product to reduce microbial contamination of healthcare laundry washed at low temperatures.
  • Gene expression analysis of transport channels in Enterococcus faecium (VRE)
    Gene expression analysis of transport channels in Enterococcus faecium (VRE) Al hareth, Zakia; Owen, L.; Dixon, C. J.; Smith, L. M.; Laird, Katie Introduction: An important aspect of the bacterial response towards stress and environmental stimuli is alteration of gene expression levels . A combination of carvacrol, cuminaldehyde, and vancomycin has previously been shown to re-sensitise vancomycin-resistant E. faecium (VRE) to vancomycin . The effect of treatment with the novel antimicrobial combination for 60minutes on gene expression in VRE was analysed by microarray analysis. Microarray data showed that 15 genes were differentially regulated and five genes associated with transport channels were chosen for further analysis; bcr, ecfa_1, ecsa1, ylob, and nhac_2. A time course study using qPCR was conducted to further understand the antimicrobial mechanism of action of the novel formula. Methods: qPCR was carried out to validate the microarray data at 60mins. In addition, alterations in the expression levels of the five genes were assessed at 10mins, 30mins, 2hrs and 6hrs, in response to cuminaldehyde and carvacrol alone, in combination, and in combination with the vancomycin. Results: VRE responds to the novel formula in the initial stages of exposure; at 10mins significant changes (p≤0.05) were demonstrated in the expression of the five genes, bcr, ecfa_1, ecsa_1, ylob, nhac_2 with fold changes of -13.5, -1.41, -3.95, -5.67, and -6.31 respectively. At 60mins only nhac_2 showed a significant fold change of -3.09. At 2hrs there were significant fold changes for bcr at 15.03, ecfa-1 at 2.85 and nhac_2 at 4.7, whereas at 6hrs there were no significant changes for any of the five genes tested. Conclusion: This study has demonstrated that treating VRE with EOs alone and in combination with vancomycin has resulted in fold changes in the expression levels of the transport genes of interest. A new EO-vancomycin formulation to combat VRE could be developed through exploiting transport channels in Enterococcus sp.
  • Microencapsulation for improved mosquitoes' repellent efficacy of cotton fabrics
    Microencapsulation for improved mosquitoes' repellent efficacy of cotton fabrics Grancaric, Ana; Laird, Katie; Botteri, L.; Laatikainen, K.; Shen, Jinsong In recent years, mosquitoes that can transfer viruses causing vector-borne diseases, such as dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika and West Nile virus have dramatically increased and reached Europe. In 2018, a higher number of 1503 human cases were reported in the EU/EEA and EU neighbouring countries. The current research was involved in the development of mosquito repellent cotton fabrics with natural essential oils and further improvement of mosquitoes repellent efficacy by microencapsulation of repellents on cotton Fabrics. The repellents efficacy for Anopheles spp. is calculated by using the results of WHO modified test method CTD/WHO PES/IC/96.1. Mosquito-repellency of the treated cotton fabrics against Aedes aegypti mosquito species were tested by using Y-tube Olfactometer. SEM images of treated cotton fabrics were also represented in this paper. open access article
  • From formulation to in vivo model: A comprehensive study of a synergistic relationship between vancomycin, carvacrol and cuminaldehyde against Enterococcus faecium
    From formulation to in vivo model: A comprehensive study of a synergistic relationship between vancomycin, carvacrol and cuminaldehyde against Enterococcus faecium Owen, Lucy; Webb, Joseph P.; Green, Jeffrey; Smith, Laura J.; Laird, Katie Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) has become endemic in healthcare settings, reducing treatment options for enterococcal infections. New antimicrobials for VRE infections are a high priority, but the development of novel antibiotics is time-consuming and expensive. Essential Oils (EOs) synergistically enhance the activity of some existing antibiotics, suggesting that EO-antibiotic combinations could re-sensitise resistant bacteria and maintain the antibiotic repertoire. The mechanism of re-sensitisation of bacteria to antibiotics by EOs is relatively understudied. Here, the synergistic interactions between carvacrol (1.98 mM) and cuminaldehyde (4.20 mM) were shown to re-establish susceptibility to vancomycin (0.031 mg/L) in VRE, resulting in bactericidal activity (4.73 log10 CFU/mL reduction). Gene expression profiling, coupled with β-galactosidase leakage and salt tolerance assays suggested that cell envelope damage contributes to the synergistic bactericidal effect against VRE. The EO-vancomycin combination was also shown to kill clinical isolates of VRE (2.33-5.25 log10 CFU/mL reduction) and stable resistance did not appear to develop even after multiple passages. The in vivo efficacy of the EO-vancomycin combination was tested in a Galleria mellonella larvae assay; however no antimicrobial action was observed, indicating that further drug development is required for the EO-vancomycin combination to be clinically useful for treatment of VRE infections. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version

Click here for a full listing of Katie Laird's publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

  • Hospital Acquired Infections
  • Enterococcus spp.
  • C. difficile
  • Healthcare Laundry
  • Biofilms
  • Novel antimicrobials (nano-metals and natural products)

There are two main areas of research currently being conducted, one of which is the assessment of novel antimicrobials such as essential oils and nano-metals against HAIs both in vegetative and biofilm form for use in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.

Secondly, healthcare textiles are being assessed for their potential as cross contamination routes for C. diffilice and other HAIs. The effectiveness of the NHS laundering policy at removing microbial loads on bed linen from the hospital ward through to the national contractors for NHS laundering and on-site laundering in care homes is being determined; as well as studies on the attachment of micro-organisms to textile fibres. In addition, novel antimicrobial ingredients for washing detergents and textile coatings are also being explored.

Katie has also developed a book and website (www.agermsjourney.com) for pre-school aged children to learn about health and hygiene "A Germ's Journey - Dirty Hands, Clean Hands"

Areas of teaching

  • Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science (BSc): Basic Microbiology & Biopharmaceuticals
  • Pharmacy (MPharm): Pharmaceutical microbiology, asepsis, inflammation, infection, the skin and the pulmonary system
  • Dissertation projects
  • MSc Students
  • PhD Students.

Honours and awards

  • DMU Future Research Leaders Fellow (2015)
  • Outstanding Poster Award the American Society of Microbiology (2015)
  • Medici Fellow  – Birmingham University (2014)
  • HACCP Level 4  (2011)
  • DMU Media Fellowship (2010).
  • Chartered Biologist (2010), Society of Biology
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2009)
  • House of Commons award (2008) for research excellence in Hospital Acquired      Infections by Alan Johnson (Health Secretary). 

Membership of external committees

  • Main Committee Member for the Society for Applied Microbiology July 2010 – July 2013.
  • Meetings sub-committe member for the Society of Applied Microbiology July 2010 - 2015. 

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Society for Applied Microbiology – main committee member (2005-2008)
  • American Society of Microbiology (2006)
  • Society of General Microbiology (2006)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2008)
  • British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (2007)
  • Society of Biology (2009).

Projects

Partnerships in Knowledge Transfer (PiKT), European Regional Development Fund, Essential oil blends for the use in skin care products. PI, collaborators: Penny Price Aromatherapy, March 2014- March 2015: 87K

Forthcoming events

Katie leads in collboration with Medilink East Midlands the Infectious Disease Special Interest Group for the East Midlands, please visit  http://www.medilinkem.com/events/events-calendar to see when the next event is.

A Germ's Journey activity pop up shop for Children aged 18 months - 6 years will be held in Highcross Shopping Centre Leicester from the 19th-21st of April.

Conference attendance

Food micro Conference
  • Copenhagen, Denmark, August  2010:Inhibition of legionellae in water by citrus essential oils and components.
  • Italy September 2006: The effect of citrus essential oils and vapours and their components on the survival of foodborne pathogenic bacteria in vitro and in food systems.

House of Commons, Set for Britain

  • March 2007: Citrus essential oils: a potential bactericide in both the clinical and food arenas.

American Society of Microbiology Conference

  • New Orleans, USA, May 2015: Clostridium difficile and the UK Healthcare      Laundry Policy: How clean is your hospital bed? (Outstanding poster award).
  • San Diego, USA, May 2010:  Analysis of the Antimicrobial Components of Citri-V™®:An Essential Oil Based Vapour.
  • Boston, USA, June 2008: The mechanism of action of a citrus oil blend against Enterococcus sp.
  • Toronto, May 2007: The use of citrus essential oils, temperature and pH (hurdle technology) against Enterococcus sp.

Society for Applied Microbiology Conference

  • Dublin, July 2015: 1) Novel green antimicrobial textile coatings for use in the healthcare and sport arenas,  2) Comparison of the antibacterial effect of silver and zinc oxide in solution and on coated surfaces on biofilms (2nd prize, student      poster competition) & 3) Developing a topical preparation containing a      synergistic antimicrobial combination of essential oils for the control of acne vulgaris-associated bacteria.
  • Brighton, July 2014:Clostridium difficile spores and healthcare laundry policy: How clean is your hospital bed?
  • Edinburgh, July 2012: Reproducibility of a Static and a Continuous Flow Method for the Formation of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms & Bacterial contamination of healthcare uniforms and survival on different textile fibre types.
  • Dublin, July 2011: Assessment of methods for recovery of Clostridium difficile spores from textiles.
    • Belfast, July 2008: The use of ozonated water to inhibit pathogenic bacteria.
    • Cardiff, June 2007: The use of citrus essential oils against Enterococcus faecium and E. faecalis.

Society of General Microbiology Conference

  • Harrogate March 2009: The use of an antimicrobial citrus vapour to reduce Enterococcus sp. on lettuce and cucumber.

IUFoST

  • Cape Town, South Africa, August 2010: The effect of an essential oil vapour on the growth of Penicillium chrysogenum, Aspergillus niger and Alternaria alternate in vitro and on food." (oral presentation)

Textile Institute World Conference

  • Shah Alam, Malyasia, May 2012: How closely do hospital staff follow NHS guidelines on domestic laundering procedures? (oral presentation).

Australian Society for Microbiology

  • Melbourne, July 2014:  Can fibre type have a role in the reduction of microorganism survival on healthcare uniforms?

Royal Pharmaceutical Society

  • Brighton, September 2014: Perceptions of antibiotic use and microbial resistance - a pilot study to test the potential of a fictitious vignette to assess lay beliefs and attitudes (oral presentation).

Euroscicon - Antibiotic alternatives for the new millennium

  • London, November 2014:
  • A Citrus Essential Oil Vapour: An Alternative to Chemical Disinfectants (oral presentation).
  • Comparison of the antibacterial effect of silver and zinc oxide in solution

            and on coated surfaces.

  • An Investigation of the Double and Triple Synergistic Antimicrobial Interactions Between Litsea, Rosewood and Clove Essential Oils Against Acne-Associated Bacteria Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis.

 

 

 

Consultancy work

  • Product development
  • Healthcare textiles and laundering
  • Contamination and transmission routes for disease.
  • Food poisoning outbreaks
  • Food spoilage.
  • Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs)
  • Infection control – how to prevent outbreaks of viral and bacterial disease
  • New antimicrobials

 

Previous desktop analysis studies for efficacy of products have been conducted, also possible lab based projects could be conducted on the efficacy of antimicrobial products.

Expertise in efficacy of antimicrobial textiles or laundry products for the clinical and food arena

Talk Back UK -Channel 4 (How Clean is Your House?) BBC 3 – The Late Edition ITV – GMTV: This involved enumeration and identification of bacterial and fungal species using a variety of techniques and also includes report writing and on-site (location) consultancy during filming or reporting.

Work is currently being carried out with Channel 4 for the production of a series (“Twinsitute”) for prime time TV, looking at the science behind bathing and showering, removal of micro-organisms, the difference between cheap and expensive beauty products etc. We are waiting to hear if the programme will be commissioned.

 Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Plans (HACCP) in order to be able to offer food manufactures consultancy on setting up their food manufacturing lines so that they meet food safety legislation and be able to train their staff in HACCP.

Current research students

Current research student supervisions:

  • PhD - Mechanisms of action of novel plant formulations against Enterococcus sp. Oct 2017-2021, 1st Supervisor
  • PhD - A Germ's Journey Educational Resources, Oct 2017-2023, 2nd Supervisor
  • PhD– Development of novel synergistic therapeutic strategies to combat      antimicrobial resistance: critical roles for natural products, PhD, Oct 2015 – 2018      - 1st Supervisor
  • PhD – Natural products antimicrobial textile coatings for use in the sports and travel arenas. Oct 2014-2017 – 1st Supervisor
  • PhD      – The use of nano-metals against biofilms in a biomedical context. Oct      2011-2014 – 1st Supervisor
  • PhD      - Survival of Clostridium difficile on cloth and exploration of new      interventions during healthcare laundering, Oct 2010-2013 – 1st Supervisor.
  • PhD  - Shape controlled synthesis of different nanoparticle metals. Oct 2012- 2017 – 2nd Supervisor
  • PhD- Lay perceptions of  antimicrobial resistance. Apr 2014-2019 – 2nd Supervisor

 

Completions: 3 PhD and 1 MRes

Externally funded research grants information

PAL International, Industrial Project, April 2018 - Dec 2018, £20K, PI

Microfresh, Industrial Project, March 2018 - Dec 2018: £45K, PI

Clinical Fabric Solutions, Industrial Project, Assessment of antimicrobial healthcare textiles. Feb 2017-August 2017: £7500, PI

Textiles company- Industrial Project, Assessment of antimicrobial detergents for healthcare laundry. July 2016-July 2017: £5000, PI

Educational Resources Grant, Society for Applied microbiology, A Germs Journey. July 2016-July 2017: £3,855.00, PI

Travel Grant, Microbiology Society, Chemical analysis of natural products in combination with antibiotics. Oct 2016-Jan 2017: £3000, PI

Analysis antimicrobial effect of natural oil extracted from plant based product on Gut Microflora, Industrial Project: Jan 2015- Aug 2015: £6000, CI

DAAD Rise Programme: Internship from Germany for research placement starting Aug 2015: £5000, PI

Partnerships in Knowledge Transfer (PiKT), European Regional Development Fund, Essential oil blends for the use in skin care products. PI, collaborators: Penny Price Aromatherapy, March 2014- March 2015: 87K

Students into Work Grant, Society for Applied Microbiology (2011):2.5K

DAAD Rise Programme: Internship for research placement starting July 2011.

NIHR- Physical Environment funding (£110K) 2008 – 2009, led by Dr Terry Tudor at the University of Northampton, researching the effect of clinical waste procedures on hospital – acquired infections – microbiologist

EMDA -Innovation Fellowship (£15K) 2009 – 2010, led by Prof Carol Phillips at the Northampton University studying the effect of Citri-V™® on postharvest Pathogens PI.

EMDA Collaboration fund (£36K) 2009 – 2010 in association with Nottingham & Northampton University and the SME Falvometrix, assessing the antimicrobial components of Citri-V and their volatile release profiles.

EMDA -Innovation Fellowship (£15K) 2010 – 2011, led by Prof Carol Phillips at the Northampton University studying the effect of Citri-V™® on postharvest Pathogens, collaborators.

Internally funded research project information

  • CARA PhD Bursary - Mechanisms of action of novel plant formulations against Enterococcus sp. Oct 2017-2021, £49K
  • PhD Student Bursary (Fees only) – Development of novel synergistic therapeutic strategies to combat antimicrobial resistance: critical roles for natural products, PhD, Oct 2015 – 2018: £12 60
  • Higher Education Innovation Fund, Infectious Disease Research Group Networking Launch, Sept 2016 – July 2017: £3000,
  • Internal PhD Bursary - Antimicrobial textile coatings for use in the sports and travel arenas. Oct 2014-2017:  £62,988
  • Research leave award: The use of natural products in synergy with antibiotics – Sept 2014 - Jan 2015: £5000
  • Medici Fellowship: Birmingham University, Jan- Nov 2014:
  • Future Research Leadership: Jan 2015 – Dec 2015: £3000
  • Internal PhD Bursary (Fees only) – The use of nano-metals against biofilms in a biomedical  context. Oct 2011-2014: £12 600
  • Internal PhD Bursary - Survival of Clostridium difficile on cloth and exploration of new interventions during healthcare      laundering, Oct 2010-2013: £54K
  • 3D spacer fabrics for medical applications, RIF, Oct 2010-Oct 2011, (£10,000), CI.
  • Pump Prime Funds: Development of consultancy expertise and equipment, Oct 2010- Oct 2011 (£10,000), PI.

Published patents

United Kingdom Patent Application No. 0809935.0: Antimicrobial citrus essential oil blend vapour.

Professional esteem indicators

Reviewer for the Journal of Applied Microbiology and Letters in Applied Microbiology.

Invited Speaker:

      • Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA), Low Temperature washing of Nurses Uniforms, USA, September 2017 via webinar
  1. Infection Control and Prevention Conference; Knowlex  (Knowledge Exchange for the NHS), Domestic Laundering of Nurses Uniforms: The Effect of Low Temperature Laundering, Leeds, 12th July  2017.
  2. European Textile Services Association (ETSA), Hygiene of Domestic Laundering – Evaluating Risks and Opportunities. Paris 14th-16th  of June
  3. Infection Control and Prevention; Knowlex (Knowledge Exchange for the NHS), Domestic Laundering of Nurses Uniforms: The Effect of Low Temperature Laundering, London, Feb 2017.
  4. Society of Hospital Linen Services and Laundry Managers Conference; Stratford Upon Avon, Domestic Laundering of Healthcare Uniforms, May 2016
  5. Penny Price Aromatherapy Open Day, Hinckley, A citrus essential oil vapour a possible chemical disinfectant, May 2015

Chair of the East Midlands Infectious Disease Special Interest Group (Medilink)

 

Case studies

Examples of evidence of the ‘Impact’ of research e.g. references to reviews/articles in main stream media, examples of feedback from users, exhibition attendance figures.

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