My research is focused on the analysis of genomic data in order to improve our understanding of bacterial evolution, epidemiology, ecology and pathogenicity. A key aim is to develop new bioinformatics and statistical methods that can handle the very large amounts of data made available by novel high-throughput sequencing techniques.
Because of the interdisciplinary nature of my work, I have broad interests in a variety of subjects, including theoretical topics such as mathematical population genetics, Bayesian statistics or Monte-Carlo methods, and biological topics such as bacterial evolutionary processes or pathogen epidemiology.
I have worked on a wide range of bacterial pathogens, especially those causing healthcare associated infections (eg Clostridium difficile and Staphylococcus aureus) and gastrointestinal infections (eg Salmonella enterica, Bacillus cereus, Campylobacter jejuni and Helicobacter pylori).
I am the director of the Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Genomics and Enabling Data which is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). This HPRU is a collaboration between the University of Warwick, Public Health England, the Centre for Genomic Pathogen Surveillance and the University of Cambridge. The aim of the HPRU is to develop and implement the methodological backbone required to analyse large scale genomic and epidemiological data sets in order to improve and protect the national public health.
Other frequent collaborators include: