Skip to content

Dr Susannah Walsh

Job: Associate Head, School of Pharmacy; Associate Professor in Microbiology

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: Leicester School of Pharmacy

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

T: +44 (0)116 257 7971

E: swalsh@dmu.ac.uk

W: https://www.dmu.ac.uk/pharmacy

Social Media:

 

Personal profile

Dr Susannah Walsh's research interests include all of the following:

  • Disinfection
  • Sterilisation
  • Infection control
  • Antimicrobials
  • Biocides
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Whole body washing
  • Pre-operative solutions
  • Ortho-phthalaldehyde
  • Chlorhexidine
  • Antimicrobial fabrics
  • Antimicrobial catalyst
  • Novel heterogeneous catalyst.

Key research outputs

[Add Key Research Ouputs information here]

Research interests/expertise

Infection prevention and control and includes:

Activity and mode of action of disinfectants and sterilants: involvement in the assessment of the activity and mode of action of a new high level disinfectants. I have been responsible for leading the microbiology aspects of randomised controlled trials (for example, the use of brushes and picks in surgical scrubbing and the efficacy of body washing). I have also conducted studies investigating the possible link between biocide use and antibiotic resistance.

Development of novel antimicrobials/ disinfectants: I have collaborated with Prof Huddersman (De Montfort University) to develop a novel antimicrobial catalyst which has been patented; and with other colleagues to test novel compounds and natural products for antibacterial activity.

Efficacy of travel hand rubs: I have worked with Prof L Goodyer to investigate the antiviral activity of commercially available travel hand rubs and develop more effective formulations.

Evaluation of test methods for antimicrobial fabrics: Collaborations with the textile research group (TEAM) in the Faculty of Art and Design, have focused on the antimicrobial efficacy of fabrics.

Areas of teaching

  • Microbiology
  • Sterile Products

Qualifications

BSc, PhD, MBA

Courses taught

  • Pharmacy (MPharm)
  • Pharmaceutical and Cosmetics Science (BSc)
  • Forensic Science (BSc)

Membership of external committees

MHRA, Commission of human medicine, chemistry, pharmacy and standards, expert advisory group 2020 to current

Pharmacy Schools Council, Deputy Chair, Admissions Group 2017 to current

Deputy DMU representative at the Pharmacy Schools Council 2017 to current

Medilink East Midlands, Infectious Diseases Special Interest Group committee member  2017 to current

Main committee member of the Society for Applied Microbiology 2004-2007

Convenor and Chair of the infection prevention and treatment subcommittee of the Society for Applied Microbiology 2002-2004

Convenor and Chair of the membership subcommittee of the Society for Applied Microbiology 2004 - 2009

Convenor and Chair of the industrial microbiology subcommittee of the Society for Applied Microbiology 2010 - 2009

Member of the meetings subcommittee of the Society for Applied Microbiology 2002 - 2009

Member of the communications subcommittee of the Society for Applied Microbiology 2006 - 2009

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Member of the Society for Applied Microbiology since 1996
  • Member of the Society for General Microbiology since 2002
  • Member of the Hospital Infection Society since 1999
  • Member of the American Society for Microbiology since 1999.

Conference attendance

  1. Pankhania, B., Huddersman, K., Walsh S.E. Modelling disinfection of biological threats using Bacillus thuringiensis spores: Efficacy of hydrogen peroxide, heterogeneous catalysis and germinant combinations Chemical and Biological Terrorism Defense, Gordon Research Conference: Detection, Countermeasures and Prevention of Chemical and Biological Threats. 3-8 March 2019, Ventura, California, USA (oral presentation).
  2. Walsh, S. Rapid Fire Talk (oral presentation) Preventing infections using De Montfort University’s novel catalyst technology. ASM Microbe 2017, 3 June, New Orleans, USA.
  3. Walsh, S. Preventing infections: is DMU's catalyst system the answer? Invited speaker, TRIIFIC! Healthcare Textiles. Medilink East Midlands, Leicester, 2 November 2016.
  4. Walsh, S. Pankhania, B, Sewell, S., Laird, K, Smith, L., Huddersman, K. Preventing infections using De Montfort University’s novel catalyst technology. ASM Microbe 2017, 1-5 June, New Orleans, USA.
  5. Walsh, S. Enhancing disinfections: is DMU’s catalyst system the answer? Invited speaker, C&C Europe Crops and Chemicals: R&D of disinfectants, detergents & cleaning products. Berlin, Germany, 10-11 February, 2015.
  6. Shen, J., Smith, E., Chizyuka, M., Walsh, S. and Martinková, L. (2013) The development of sol-gel based hybrid polymers to achieve multifunctional textile fabric surface coating. XVII Int Sol-Gel conference, Madrid, Spain, 25-30 Aug
  7. Shen, J., Smith, E., Chizyuka, M., Walsh, S. and Martinková, L. (2013) Sol-gel process of cotton fabric to achieve multifunctionality. 13th AUTEX World Textile Conf, Dresden, Germany, 22-24 May
  8. Shen, J., Smith, E., Chizyuka, M., Walsh, S. and Martinková, L. (2012) Nanolayer surface coating of cotton fabric with sol-gel based hybrid polymers to achieve hydrophobic and antibacterial properties. 12th World Textile Conf AUTEX, 13-15 June, Zadar, Croatia
  9. Shen J, Smith E, Chizyuka M, Walsh S, Martinková L Sol gel hybrid polymer coating of cotton fabrics. Presented at the International Conference on Eco-Dyeing/Finishing and Green Chemistry in Hangzhou, China 2011.
  10. Price S, Shen J, Huddersman K, Walsh S. Mycobactericidal and bactericidal properties of a novel antimicrobial catalyst and it’s leachate. Poster presented at the Society for Applied Microbiology Summer Conference in Dublin July 2011. 
  11. Walsh S, Boateng K, Price S, Huddersman K Potentiation of hydrogen peroxide activity using a novel heterogeneous catalyst. Poster presented at the American Society for Microbiology General Meeting in New Orleans May 2011.
  12. Jenkins P, Walsh S, Gould D, Hilliam R, Goodyer L, Tanner J, Efficacy of whole body wash and hand rub formulations. Poster presented at the American Society for Microbiology General Meeting in New Orleans May 2011.
  13. Tanner J, Gould D, Jenkins P, Hilliam R, Mistry N, Walsh S E, Whole body washing to reduce bacteria on skin: a randomised trial. Poster presented at the 7th International Conference of the Hospital Infection Society. Liverpool October 2010.
  14. Price S, Boateng K, Shen J, Huddersman K, Walsh S. Investigating the antibacterial properties of a novel heterogeneous PAN catalyst. Poster presented at the Society for Applied Microbiology Summer Conference in Brighton July 2010.
  15. Walsh S E, Davies M, Patel K, Yasmin Y, Goodyer L. Bactericidal activity of H20-NO hand rub formulations against Escherichia coli. Poster presented at the 11th Conference of the International Society of Travel Medicine. Budapest, Hungary May 2009.
  16. Walsh S E Invited speaker at the Society for Applied Microbiology Summer Conference (Edinburgh 2008). Presentation title: Careers in Academia.

Key articles information

[Add key research outputs information here] 

e.g ‘Outputs, e.g. selected publications’ produced since January 2008

Consultancy work

Microbiology, specialising in disinfection and sterilisation.

Current research students

  • I currently have 7 PhD students (4 as first supervisor) and have 5 successful completions (4 PhD, 1 MRes), with a pipeline of 4 additional completions expected in 2020.

Externally funded research grants information

    1. PAL International 2020, PeroxyCat – proof of principle, matched funding for HEIF £12,500.
    2. Better Vision Solutions 2019 Milestone Payment £10,000. Licensee payment to DMU.
    3. DSTL 2017 £70,000. DSTL - Sporicidal disinfection using DMU's novel catalyst technology. PI (CI K. Huddersman). Email confirmation of funding success has been received, funding is subject to contract.
    4. DEB 2015 £4,960. DEB: assessment of the antimicrobial efficacy of the DMU catalyst.
    5. Better Vision Solutions 2015 Milestone Payment £30,000. Licensee payment (third party test results and due diligence investigation results).
    6. Better Vision Solutions 2015 Milestone Payment £15,000. Licensee payment (access fee)
    7. Better Vision Solutions Consultancy 2015 $4500 (£3,130) via DMEL. Consultancy focused on commercialisation of our novel catalyst system with our Licensee BVS.
    8. Reckitt Benckiser 2014 DMEL commercial testing £14,650, antimicrobial screening of the novel catalyst system. Project complete
    9. Society for Applied Microbiology Students into Work Grant £2,500 entitled ‘antimicrobial catalyst’ (2014). Project complete.
    10. Molnlycke Health Care £585.88 ‘Source Control’ meeting honorarium for acting as expert microbiologist, Jan 2012.
    11. Molnlycke Health Care £25K ‘pre-operative solutions: a randomised controlled trial’. Principal investigator Prof Judith Tanner, Dr S Walsh responsible for microbiology aspects of the proposal/ trial design and line management of the microbiology research associate. (2011).
    12. Society for Applied Microbiology Students into Work Grant £2,100 entitled ‘effect of ventilation method on microbial air quality’ (2011). 
    13. International PhD Programme (Ms N Sonji). Project investigating ‘antibacterial metal complexes’ in conjunction with the Lebanese International University, Beirut. Student is now commencing studies and we have received their registration form. 
    14. Molnlycke Heath Care £918 commercial work examining the residual effect of surgical scrubbing on Escherichia coli. 
    15. Molnlycke Heath Care £1,100 commercial work examining the residual effect of chlorhexidine hand washes and rubs on Escherichia coli. 
    16. Framework 7 SAFEPROTEX work package £45K: led by Dr Jinsong Shen (principle investigator). Dr S Walsh is responsible for management of the microbiology aspects of this project and is second PhD supervisor. 
    17. Molnlycke Heath Care £25K ‘whole body washing randomised controlled trial on healthy volunteers’, March-May 2010. Principal investigator Prof Judith Tanner, Dr S Walsh responsible for microbiology aspects of the proposal/trial design and line management of the microbiology research associate. This pilot study is intended to lead to a larger study looking at the effect of body washing on hospital inpatients. 
    18. Hospital Infection Society Small Research Grant £5K awarded to Prof J Tanner. Nail brushes and nail picks during the surgical scrub to reduce bacteria on hands: a randomised controlled trial. Microbiology aspects led and designed by Dr S Walsh, 2008-9. 
    19. Hospital Infection Society Small Research Grant for £5K entitled ‘Biocidal activity and resistance and effects on antibiotic susceptibility’, 2002-current. This study aims to improve the understanding of biocides and their effect on antibiotic susceptibility. This grant is for the purchase of equipment and consumables to support this project. 
    20. Society for Applied Microbiology Students into Work Grant for £2,100 entitled ‘Efficacy of hand rubs for use in travel medicine’, 2008 (July to September). 
    21. Society for Applied Microbiology Students into Work Grant for £2,100 to investigate ‘test methodology and activity of antimicrobial fabrics’, 2006 (July to September).

Internally funded research project information

    1. HEIF 2020, PeroxyCat – proof of principle. £12,500 plus matched external funding.
    2. Understanding bacterial resistance and dissemination: the impact of biocides and preservatives. Graduate School Full bursary PhD Scholarship. 2016-2019. 
    3. Investigation into evaporative coolers for controlling legionella bacteria using innovative catalyst technology. HEIF proof of principle. Nov 2015-April 2016. 
    4. Molecular characterization and identification of emerging parasitic pathogens in the environment in the Midlands, UK: public health implications. RCIF2 2015-2016. £21,767. 
    5. Prevention of waterborne disease using DMU’s patented catalyst technology. DMU fees-only Scholarship for Bhishak Pankhania 2015-2021 (part time). 
    1. Internally allocated doctoral training grant (fees only studentship Mr K. Omoniala) ‘modified titanium as an antibacterial biomaterial’. 
    2. HEIF 4 pump priming £9,300 awarded to Dr S. Walsh and Dr K. Laird to purchase a MAS-100 Microbial air monitoring system and obtain a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) level 4 qualification.
    3. Internally allocated doctoral training grant entitled ‘Development of a broad spectrum, sporicidal, cost saving disinfectant incorporating a novel antimicrobial catalyst’, 2009-12. 
    4. Internally allocated doctoral training grant entitled “Novel polymer supported catalyst for biocidal applications”, 2005-8.
    5. Hydrogen peroxide is activated by the catalyst with resultant biocidal activity allowing lower hydrogen peroxide dosing. This award supported a PhD student who has now successfully completed.

Published patents

Huddersman K. D., Walsh S. Antimicrobial Catalyst, US Patent 8513303 issued on August 20th 2013. Inventor.

Huddersman K. D., Walsh S. Antimicrobial Catalyst, PCT Patent Application No. PCT/GB2008/002864. Published on 05 Mar 2009 under No. WO 2009/027649. European patent application No 08788424.3. Inventor.

Other relevant patent numbers for the Antimicrobial Catalyst:
1499358 FR 10/01/1967, 2346569 GB 08/01/2000, WO 01/81671 WO 11/01/2001, WO 2005/073289 WO 08/01/2005, WO 2007/099293 WO 09/01/2007

Professional esteem indicators

MHRA, Commission of human medicine, chemistry, pharmacy and standards, expert advisory group  2020 to current

Pharmacy Schools Council, Deputy Chair, Admissions Group 2017 to current

Deputy DMU representative at the Pharmacy Schools Council 2017 to current

Medilink East Midlands, Infectious Diseases Special Interest Group committee member 2017 to current

Editor for the Journal of Applied Microbiology and Letters in Applied Microbiology 2004-2007.

Susannah Walsh