O’Toole – Microbiology, molecular epidemiology

Our research utilises the latest technologies in next generation sequencing of DNA to improve our understanding of how microorganisms spread and cause disease. We are particularly interested in bacterial infections which are responsible for a high amount of illness or can be difficult to treat with conventional antibiotics.

Research areas

Our research group's main focus is the use of genomics to track the transmission of infectious agents and the acquisition of antibiotic resistance by human pathogens. Specific projects include:

  1. Investigations into the relationship between Mycobacterium tuberculosis phylogeny and TB transmission, disease manifestations, and treatment outcomes;
  2. Examination of the origin of healthcare-associated infections such as vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and the dynamics of epidemiological clusters and outbreaks;
  3. Characterisation of the role of Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoniae in the acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and in the development of new anti-infective receptor antagonists.

Meet the team

Group members

Group leader

Dr Ronan O'Toole

PhD students

Kelvin Leong
Rajendra KC


See a full list of publications on Google Scholar [external link], ResearchGate [external link], ORCID [external link] or view Dr Ronan O'Toole's profile.