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Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, Queen's University Belfast

AMR - developmet of plant-based antimicroial alternatives
Health and disease in humans and animals
Food safety, quality and nutrition
Rapid immunodiagnostic for chemical contaminants and biomarkers
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a huge threat encompassing health and economic burdens in every region of the globe. Overuse or misuse of antibiotics can accelerate the natural evolution of microorganisms and the associated consequence has been further implicated by the lack of development of new antibiotics over the past 40 years. Responsible use of antibiotics and development of antibiotic alternatives are paramount in combatting AMR.

Traditional herbal medicine, sustained by near 7000 years of anecdotal theory and practice, still remains as major healthcare systems in many parts of the world and is very different from the mainstream of western medicine. My research interest in this area focuses on the development of plant-based phytochemicals as safer and sustainable alternative to therapeutic antibiotics for use in humans and animals. Over the past 12 years, we have developed in-house expertise spanning from initial screening to isolation and identification of bio-compound, as well as toxicity evaluation and mode of action study to decipher the traditional knowledge of herbal remedy. We will collaborate with other research institution and industry (pharmaceutical, food and nutritional) to explore both therapeutic and health potential of botanicals as antimicrobial agents for tackling AMR, as nutraceuticals for promoting health and general well-being in humans, and as natural supplements for enhancing health and productivity of food animals.

My other research lies in the development of immunochemical and molecular methods utilising a range of biotechnological platforms including SPR biosensor and nanotechnology. I have actively participated with major roles in a series of EU Framework Programme projects (FP4-FP7) since 1998 and developed a range of commercial diagnostic kits for detection of small and large molecules such as antibiotic residues, chemicals proteins and biomarkers. More recently, I coordinated a PF7 international collaborative project with over €1M EC funding to develop immuno- and physicochemical methods for the detection of recombinant bovine growth hormone (Unique-Check, 2009-2013) with academic and industrial partners from Belgium, France and UK.