Dr Mark A Jepson

B.Sc.(N'cle), Ph.D.(Birm.)

  • Biomedical Sciences Building University Walk Bristol

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Research interests

Molecular mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions

The virulence of pathogenic bacteria relies on their ability to induce signals within host cells to alter their behaviour. This can involve surface expression of proteins, secretion of toxins or, in some of the most interesting examples,  direct transfer of proteins by bacteria into host cells.  My group has mainly focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying the cross-talk between pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella and enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) and epithelial cells. Through collaborations we have also extended our research interests to encompass other pathogns including Campylobacter, Streptococci and EHEC.  Specific areas of interest include: 1) understanding how bacteria modulate the actin cytoskeleton and intracellular trafficking; 2) understanding how bacteria alter epithelial permeability; 3) defining the role of particle-transporting epithelial cells (M cells) in bacterial infection; 4) applying cell imaging techniques to the study of microbial pathogenesis; 5) analysing inter-species interactions in biofilm formation.

Nanoparticle uptake and toxicity in epithelial models

In recent years the growth in nanotechnology has raised interest in understanding how nanoparticles intract with epithelial cells, both in the context of nanodelivery and to understand potential routes for inadvertent uptake and toxicity of nanoparticles. Our research in this field has primarily used gut epithelial models and through collaborations investigated additional biological barriers and systems to investigate mechanisms of uptake and toxicity of a range of nanoparticles.

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