1994 …2020

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Personal profile

Research interests

I lead a research group studying antimicrobial drug resistance (AMR) in bacteria. We use molecular genetics, biochemistry and functional genomics techniques to identify and characterise AMR mechanisms in key human pathogens, their mobilisation, and their control. We then use this information to combat the problem of AMR by developing interdisciplinary research collaborations. 

Our current basic work aims to characterize multi-drug resistance mechanisms in non-fermenting Gram-negative bacteria, particularly Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and in Enterobacteriaceae, particularly Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae. We have studied mechanisms of β-lactam and β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor resistance (e.g. Dulyayangkul et al., (2020) Antimicrob Agents ChemotherCalvopiña et al., (2020) Molecular MicrobiologyTakebayashi et al., (2019) Antimicrob Agents ChemotherCalvopiña et al., (2018) Antimicrob Agents ChemotherJiménez-Castellanos et al., (2018) J Antimicrob Chemother; Calvopiña et al., (2017) Molecular Microbiology), aminoglycoside resistance (e.g. Calvopiña et al., (2020) Antimicrob Agents Chemother), polymyxin resistance (e.g. Cheung et al., (2020) Antimicrob Agents Chemother) and fluoroquinolone resistance (e.g. Wan nur Ismah et al., (2018) J Antimicrob Chemother).

We are collaborating with chemists and structural biologists to develop β-lactamase inhibitors (e.g. Brem et al., (2014) Nature Chemistry; Brem et al., (2016) Nature Communications; Li et al., (2017) Chem CommunHinchliffe et al., (2018) BiochemistryCahill et al., (2019) Biochim Biophys Acta), chemical modifications that increase the entry of antibiotics into Gram negative bacteria (e.g. Calvopiña et al., (2016) Antimicrob Agents Chemother) and ways of reversing fluoroquinolone resistance by inhibiting DNA repair (e.g. Wilkinson et al., (2016) eLife). We are also part of Bristol University's "Silent Pharmacy" consortium led by Dr Andy Bailey (Biological Sciences) and are working in collaboration with chemists, biochemists and mycologists to identify novel antibiotics from fungi.

We have pioneered proteomics-based technologies for the identification of AMR proteins in clinical samples and we are pioneering the use of proteomics to improve the ability of whole genome sequencing to predict antimicrobial susceptiblity (e.g. Wan Nur Ismah et al., (2018) Antimicrob Agents Chemother). We have helped investigate the potential for sensing AMR via volotile profiling (e.g. Smart et al., (2019) J Pharm Biomed Anal). We are also involved in a project led by Physicist Dr Massimo Antognozzi (University of Bristol) to develop novel sensors that can rapidly determine antimicrobial susceptibility in individual bacteria from clinical samples. This project was a recipient of the global Longitude Prize Discovery Award in 2017 and has spun out a company, Vitamica Ltd. 

We lead the One Health Selection and Transmission of Antimicrobial Resistance (OH-STAR) consortium. Working with ID and Micro Consultants at North Bristol and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trusts, we are using whole genome sequencing to survey urinary E. coli and all Gram-negatives from bloodstream infection (e.g. Findlay et al., (2020) J Antimicrob Chemother). Our aims include monitoring ecological shifts resulting from local prescribing policy changes, and informing empiric prescribing and IV/oral switch for sepsis. In collaboration with a teams led by Prof Alastair Hay (Population Health Sciences) and Dr Kristen Reyher (Bristol Vet School), we aim to: (1) identify whether antibiotic usage reduction by GPs reduces AMR prevalence in humans (e.g. Hammond et al., (2020) PLOS One); (2) to define the environmental and management factors that influence acquisition and selection of AMR in dairy cattle and in dogs and (3) to identify whether AMR bacteria from these animals impacts on AMR in human infections (e.g. Alzayn et al., (2020) J Antimicrob Chemother)

We lead the One Health Drivers of Antibacterial Resistance in Thailand (OH-DART) consortium. Working with colleagues at the Universities of Exeter and Bath, Mahidol University, Chulabhorn Research Institute and the NERC Center for Ecology and Hydrology, our consortium's aim is to define and prioritise the drivers of antibacterial drug resistance in humans in the community in Thailand taking a multi-disciplinary approach.

We also contribute to the FARMS-SAFE consortium led by Dr Kristen Reyher (Bristol Vet School) to work alongside colleagues at the University of La Plata to survey AMR and antimicrobial usage and identify the drivers of AMR in Argentinian farming systems.

As well as directing these core research activities, I lead the Bristol AMR interdisciplinary research network, funded by the Wellcome Trust, which aims to promote, facilitate and bring together AMR research from across the University of Bristol, reaching into all six of our faculties.

I lead the NERC funded "AMR in the real world" programme integration group, which aims to bring together and find synergy between all 13 research projects funded under the research council AMR theme 3 call.

I am PI and Academic Lead for the Medical Research Foundation-funded National PhD Training Programme in AMR Research, which will provide 31 fully-funded 4-year, interdisciplinary PhD studentships and will fund cohort building and knowledge exchange events for up to 175 additional PhD students working on AMR related projects from all disciplines and all UK institutions.

Current Grant Funding

  • 10/19-10/22: MRC. £250k (CoI)
  • 08/19-06/22: BBSRC/DoHSC. £1m (CoI)
  • 09/18-09/20: Wellcome Trust. £110k (PI)
  • 05/18-05/21: MRC/DoHSC. £2.9m (PI)
  • 10/17-02/24: Medical Research Foundation. £4m (PI)
  • 10/16-01/21: NERC/BBSRC/MRC. £1.5m (PI)
  • 09/16-09/20: MRC/BBSRC/EPSRC. £1.8m (CoI)

Research Team

  • Maryam Alzayn, BSc (Tabuk), MSc (Bangor) - PhD Student
  • Nour Alhusein, BSc (Damascus), PhD (Bath) - Senior Research Associate (MRC Funded).
  • Ross Booton, MSci (Bath), PhD (Sheffield) - Senior Research Associate (MRC Funded)
  • Phoebe Cheung, BSc (Imperial), MRes (Bristol) - PhD Student
  • Punyawee Dulyayangkul, BSc (Mahidol), PhD (CRI, Bangkok) - Research Associate (MRC Funded)
  • Winnie Lee, BSc (Herts), MRes (Imperial) - PhD Student
  • Beatriz Llamazares, BVSc (Leon), MSc (Copenhagen), MRCVS - PhD Student
  • Olly Mounsey, BSc, MRes (Bristol) - Technician (BBSRC Funded)
  • Naphat Satapoomin, BSc (Newcastle) - PhD Student
  • Hannah Schubert, MA, VetMB (Cambridge), MRCVS - Senior Research Associate (NERC Funded)
  • Jordan Sealey, BSc (Oxford Brooks), MSc (LSTM) - PhD Student
  • Jonathan Tyrrell, BSc, PhD (Cardiff) - Lecturer/Senior Research Associate (MRC Funded)

 

  • TBA - Research Associate (BBSRC Funded)

Project Management Team

  • Dr Ginny Gould. OH-STAR & OH-DART Project Manager (NERC/MRC/DoHSC Funded)
  • Mrs Pei-Si Hayes. Bristol AMR Administrator (Wellcome Trust Funded)/AMR PhD Programme Administrator (MRF Funded)
  • Dr Claire Spreadbury. AMR PhD Programme Manager (MRF Funded)
  • Mr Carlos Ayala - FARMS-SAFE Project Manager (DoHSC Funded)

 Collaborators

  • Dr Jim Spencer (CMM)
  • Dr Kate Heesom (Bristol Proteomics Facility)
  • Dr Andy Bailey (Biological Sciences)
  • Dr Kristen Reyher, MRCVS (Bristol Vet School)
  • Prof David Barrett, FRCVS (Bristol Vet School)
  • Dr Tristan Cogan (Bristol Vet School)
  • Dr Katy Turner (Bristol Vet School)
  • Prof Andrew Dowsey (Bristol Vet School)
  • Dr Maria Escobar (Bristol Vet School)
  • Ms Christina Maunder, MRCVS (Langford Veterinary Services)
  • Ms Marta Costa, FRCPath, MRCVS (Langford Veterinary Services)
  • Rob Arbon (Jean Golding Institute, University of Bristol)
  • Prof Alastair Hay, MRCGP (Bristol Medical School)
  • Prof Helen Lambert (Bristol Medical School)
  • Dr Ashley Hammond (Bristol Medical School)
  • Dr Massimo Antognozzi (Physics)
  • Prof Alasdair MacGowan FRCPath (Southmead Hospital)
  • Dr Martin Williams FRCPath (Bristol Royal Infirmary)
  • Dr Philip Williams FRCPath (Bristol Royal Infirmary)
  • Prof Skorn Mongkolsuk (Chulabhorn Research Institute)
  • Dr Jutamaad Satayavivad (Chulabhorn Research Institute)
  • Prof Visanu Thamlikitkul (Siriraj Hospital, Bangkok)
  • Dr Parntep Ratanakorn (Mahidol University)
  • Dr Walasinee Sakcamduan (Mahidol University)
  • Dr Luechai Sringernyuang (Mahidol University)
  • Dr Aronrag Meeyai (LSHTM)
  • Prof Henry Buller (University of Exeter)
  • Dr Emma Pitchforth (University of Exeter)
  • Dr Andrew Singer (NERC, Center for Ecology & Hydrology)
  • Prof Ed Feil (University of Bath)
  • Prof Luzbel de la Sota (University of La Plata)
  • Dr Nora Mestorino (University of La Pata)

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Projects

Research Output

  • Characterization of cefotaxime-resistant urinary Escherichia coli from primary care in South-West England 2017-18

    Findlay, J., Gould, V. C., North, P., Bowker, K. E., Williams, M., MacGowan, A. P. & Avison, M. B., 1 Jan 2020, In : The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy. 75, 1, p. 65–71 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

  • 2 Downloads (Pure)
  • Prizes

    Best of Bristol Award Lecture

    Avison, Matthew B (Recipient), 28 Feb 2013

    Prize: Prizes, Medals, Awards and Grants

    Best of Bristol Award Lecture

    Avison, Matthew B (Recipient), 24 Feb 2015

    Prize: Prizes, Medals, Awards and Grants

    Longitude Prize Discovery Award

    Avison, Matthew B (Recipient), 1 Aug 2017

    Prize: Prizes, Medals, Awards and Grants

    Activities

    BBC Radio 4 "Inside Science" Interview

    Matthew B Avison (Interviewee)

    12 Oct 2017

    Activity: Other activity typesMedia coverage or participation

    One Health Eden Antimicrobial Resistance Conference Talk

    Matthew B Avison (Speaker)

    18 May 2017

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic talk, debate, discussion

    BBSRC (External organisation)

    Matthew B Avison (Advisor)

    1 Jan 20171 Jan 2022

    Activity: Membership typesMembership or peer review panel or committee

    Supervised Work

    Biochemical and Structural Characterisation of a Thermostable Cfr-Like Enzyme from Sphaerobacter thermophilus

    Author: Shaw, J. M., 1 Oct 2019

    Supervisor: Avison, M. (Supervisor) & Spencer, J. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science (MSc)

    File

    Characterisation of β-lactam/Vaborbactam activity in Klebsiella pneumoniae

    Author: Douglas, E. J. A., 23 Jan 2019

    Supervisor: Avison, M. (Supervisor), Massey, R. (Supervisor) & Spencer, J. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science (MSc)

    File

    The efficacy of last-line and experimental antimicrobials against Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and the characterisation of resistant mutant

    Author: Calvopina Tapia, K., 25 Sep 2018

    Supervisor: Spencer, J. (Supervisor) & Avison, M. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)

    File