PhD students

Michael Selorm Avumegah

BSc. Biological Sciences (Hons), MSc. Biology
Avumegah, Serlorm_edit

Email: mavumega@deakin.edu.au
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Principal Supervisor:       Prof Soren Alexandersen

Associate Supervisors:     Prof Eugene Athan, Dr Wojtek Michalski, Dr James Wynne

Other Researchers:         Dr Isabelle Jeanne, A/Prof Daniel O’Brien

Project Summary:  

Mycobacterium ulcerans causes a necrotizing bacterial infection of skin and subcutaneous tissue. In Victoria it is known as Bairnsdale ulcer, however, is known as Buruli ulcer globally. Cases in Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula were first reported in 1998, and this is now recognized as an endemic area with the highest burden of disease in Australia.  The mode of transmission remains unclear, but possums and mosquitoes have being implicated as possible reservoir and vector respectively.

We propose further epidemiological, clinical and microbiological studies to characterize Mycobacterium ulcerans in Victoria. Techniques to be used in this project include epidemiological and clinical analysis of large patient cohort, microbiological laboratory analyses of isolates and therapy, genotyping of strains and sero-survey of human population.

Date of Commencement: 18th November 2014

Key activities:

  • Descriptive and explorative epidemiology
  • Geographic information System
  • Spatial Scan Statistics
  • Cell culture (bacteria)
  • Recombinant protein expression and purification
  • Molecular biological techniques
  • DNA/Protein bioinformatics analysis
  • Various immunoblotting techniques
  • ELISA

Collaborative partners:

  • Deakin University
  • Barwon Health Infectious Disease Unit
  • CSIRO – Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL)