Dr Rachel Wheatley (2016, DPhil Plant Sciences), Junior Dean, has led a study looking at CRISPR-Cas systems in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The paper was published over the vacation in The ISME Journal, a leading nature group journal in microbial ecology.
The paper proposes that CRISPR-Cas acts as an important constraint to horizontal gene transfer in P. aeruginosa, and the evolutionary mechanisms that ensure its maintenance or drive its loss are key to the ability of this pathogen to adapt to new niches and stressors. Rachel was also invited to write a “behind the paper” blog post, which is now available to read on the Nature Microbiology Community website.
Rachel achieved great sporting success while studying for her DPhil at Univ. She holds full Blues in judo and boxing and has been the Oxford University Judo Club (OUJC) Women’s Captain, President, Sponsorship Office and Social Secretary. She has also been the Oxford University Amateur Boxing Club Welfare Officer. She made her GB debut at the European Judo Open in Glasgow in 2018. She was previously awarded the Vincent’s William S. Broadbent Jnr. Scholarship and Sportswoman of the Year at the University Sports Awards.
Rachel commented: “This is my first full bioinformatics paper, so it was great to have something computational to think about while research labs were shut down.”
You can follow Rachel on Twitter @RWheatley8.
Published: 22 January 2021