Professor Angela Brueggemann
IDEU Director and Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
My research focuses on understanding how changes in bacterial population structure impact on global health and vaccine initiatives. I am especially interested in bacteria that are major causes of diseases like meningitis and pneumonia, the most important of which is Streptococcus pneumoniae.
My research group sequences the genomes of large collections of bacterial isolates (thousands of bacteria) to extract the genetic information relevant to our research questions. We use the genome sequence and population structure data to understand how changes within the bacterial population may impact on human health and the success of vaccination programmes.
Our newest initiative is called IRIS (Invasive Respiratory Infection Surveillance), which is a large international consortium of laboratories investigating the impact of COVID-19 on the rates of invasive diseases caused by S pneumoniae, H influenzae and N meningitidis. I also have a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award to investigate bacteriocins, which are antimicrobial peptides produced by bacteria to inhibit competing bacteria. We are investigating bacteriocins among bacteria found in the nasopharynx and exploring whether bacteriocins might be developed as novel antimicrobials.
Other projects within the research group relate to investigating bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria), assessing the burden of meningitis in Africa, and making bacterial genomes freely accessible to the international community through PubMLST. I am also involved in outreach and am keen to inspire the next generation of scientists.