The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


Research Projects

Project: New antibiotics from old bacteria

Pidot group

Development of new antibiotics is key to addressing the crisis in human health caused by the rise of multidrug resistant superbugs. Traditionally, soil-derived Actinobacteria, particularly the genus Streptomyces, are the most prolific antibiotic producers, however, high re-discovery rates of known compounds demand the testing of new reservoirs of biodiversity and bioactive molecules. Human-associated bacteria, including pathogenic bacteria, are a previously untapped source of antimicrobial diversity. This project will investigate the antibacterial activity of a diverse collection of 700 human pathogenic Actinobacteria held by our state microbiology reference laboratory, with the ultimate aim to identify new antimicrobials that can inhibit hospital superbugs, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant enterococci. A combination of techniques will be used in this project, including genomics, molecular biology, biochemistry and mass spectrometry, to identify new antibiotics produced by this collection of bacteria. Students will develop a broad range of skills in each of these areas and will use these to increase the antimicrobial drug discovery pipeline.

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Dr Sacha Pidot

Project Co-supervisor

Professor Tim Stinear 

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

Pidot group

3 vacancies

Antimicrobial Resistance
Cross Cutting Disciplines
Discovery Research
Computational Science and Genomics

The Pidot group is a multi-disciplinary team that works across microbiology, genomics and biological chemistry to identify new antimicrobials and investigate their biosynthesis. While bacteria can be killed by antibiotics, many bacteria are also adept at producing antimicrobials, especially those from the actinomycete family. We primarily study human pathogenic actinomycetes (Nocardia and Mycobacterium, among others), which have not been well investigated previously and represent a source of untapped antibiotic potential. Our group uses a range of techniques from DNA sequencing to molecular biology through to mass spectrometry to identify and study the next generation of antimicrobial candidates.

Pidot group Current Projects