WH Pierce 2018: Sarah Coulthurst

How to kill your rivals – Type VI secretion system-mediated bacterial warfare.

Sarah won the prize for her research which aims to explain how Gram-negative bacterial pathogens are able to successfully cause disease. This could provide both an improved understanding of basic biological processes and, ultimately, contribute to novel therapeutic antimicrobial strategies.

Specifically, Sarah uses Serratia marcescens as a model organism for studying inter- and intra-species competition. Her research focuses on Type VI secretion, a system for bacterial toxicity and communication through the injection of secreted effector molecules into target cells.