Dr. Helena Seth-Smith
Applied Microbiology Research, Lab 315
Tel: +41 613285466
Since 06/2016: Postdoc, Department Biomedicine, University Basel
2013-15 Marie Curie Intra-European Fellow, Functional Genomics Center Zurich, University of Zurich
2002-13 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Pathogen Genomics, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK
1998-02 Ph. D., Institute of Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, UK
Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (EU FP7): ChlaFish: Novel Fish Pathogens of the Chlamydiae: Genomic, Proteomic and Metabolomic Investigations
Bacteria are friends and foes. I have worked on beneficial microbes involved in the bioremediation of explosives, and pathogenic ones which cause disease in humans and animals. The common theme is that I investigate how they do what they do through sequencing and analysing their genes.
Whole genome sequencing and thorough analysis is the only way to gain true insights into the evolution of bacteria. This is equally true whether looking over long timescales and the origins of virulence in a species, or looking at an outbreak over a few months. I use careful annotation of genomes and comparative genomics to investigate how bacteria evolve. In the laboratory I have also developed methods to generate this genomic data from uncultured bacteria.
My work over the past few years has involved looking into evolution patterns of pathogens of fish, koalas and livestock. I am excited to now be working on more clinically relevant pathogens, with Dr Adrian Egli’s group on next generation sequence analysis at Basel University Hospital.