External Advisory Board

Professor William M. Shafer PhD
Professor Microbiology and Immunology, Co-Director of the Emory Antibiotic Resistance Center and Senior Research Career Scientist [Atlanta VA Medical Center])

Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Emory University School of Medicine
Atlanta
wshafer@emory.edu

Professor William Shafner

I received my Ph.D. degree in Microbiology from Kansas State University in 1979 under the mentorship of John J. Iandolo, Ph.D.  I then performed post-doctoral studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, NC.  Under the mentorship of P.F. Sparling, M.D. I studied the mechanisms by which Neisseria gonorrhoeae can develop resistance to killing by human serum.  In 1982 I moved to Emory University School of Medicine where I am now Professor of Microbiology and Immunology as well as Senior Research Career Scientist at the Atlanta VA Hospital. I am also Director of the Antimicrobial Resistance and Therapeutic Discovery Training Program and Co-director of the Emory Antibiotic Resistance Center. My laboratory is engaged in research dealing with the mechanisms used by the sexually transmitted pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae to develop resistance to antibiotics used by clinicians in the treatment of gonorrhea and antimicrobial compounds produced by the host during infection.  The gonococcus causes over 87 million cases of gonorrhea worldwide each year and many strains causing disease are now resistant to multiple antibiotics.  There is now considerable concern that unless new antibiotics are developed, gonorrhea may become an untreatable disease in the not too distant future. With grant support from the NIH and VA since 1984, my group studies how gonococci avoid the antibacterial action of cationic antimicrobial peptides that participate in innate host defense and how they employ a drug efflux pump to export antimicrobials including antibiotics.  


Professor Andy Porter FRSB, FRSE
Professor of Medical Biotechnology, University of Aberdeen
Director of the Scottish Biologics Facility
a.porter@abdn.ac.uk

Professor Andy Porter
  

I am the CTO of the multi-award winning biologics drug discovery company Elasmogen Ltd, with programs in inflammation and oncology.  I am also Professor of Medical Biotechnology, University of Aberdeen, Scotland and Director of the Scottish Biologics Facility.  I was the founder and CSO of Haptogen Ltd. until Wyeth Inc. acquired it, in October 2007.  In 2005 I was made the Ernst and Young Plc, UK Science and Technology Entrepreneur of the Year.  In 2006 I became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology in 2012.  I am currently the Vice President for Business at the RSE.  I also hold non-executive Board positions on a number of other Scottish biotechnology companies including the Chair of Roslin Technologies Ltd.  Outside of bioscience, and with a team of young industry savvy entrepreneurs, I have helped establish a portfolio of award winning cocktail bars (top 200 in the world) and opened Langstrane Liquor Ltd in 2015, Aberdeen's first gin distillery for 100 years.  I am a graduate of St Andrew’s University, Scotland.


Professor Paul Williams PhD, FRSB
Professor of Molecular Microbiology at the Biodiscovery Institute & School of Life Sciences
Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences
University of Nottingham
paul.williams@nottingham.ac.uk
Professor Paul Williams

I have served as the University Head of the School of Molecular Medical Sciences (2008-2013) and as Director of the Institute of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation (1996-2008). My research interests focus on the ways in which bacteria control gene regulation through cell-cell communication (quorum sensing) and the discovery of new antibacterial agents and biofilm resistant polymers for preventing medical device associated infections. I have published over 350 research articles and patents and has served on numerous boards and panels including the Medical Research Council U.K. Infection & Immunology board, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council UK Plants and Microbes committee and on the scientific advisory board of the European Union Joint Programming Initiative in Antimicrobial Resistance. I am a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator, Director of the joint University of Nottingham and University of Birmingham Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Programme in Antimicrobials and Antimicrobial Resistance and a member of the European Academy of Microbiology. 


Professor Peggy Cotter PhD
Professor and Associate Chair
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
University of North Carolina
Professor Peggy Cotter

I earned a B.A. with majors in Microbiology and Psychobiology from UCLA in 1980, then completed a Medical Technology Training Program and worked as a Licensed Clinical Laboratory Technologist for six years in the Bowyer Oncology Clinic Laboratory at UCLA before returning to graduate school. I earned a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at UCLA in 1992, then did post-doctoral studies in Microbiology and Immunology with Jeff Miller at UCLA, studying bacterial pathogenesis. I established my own laboratory at UC Santa Barbara in 2001. I moved to the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill in 2009, where I am Professor and Associate Chair of Microbiology & Immunology. My laboratory studies mechanisms of signal transduction, protein secretion, and DNA transposition, especially as they relate to bacteria-host and bacteria-bacteria interactions. I served as an editor for Molecular Microbiology from 1996 to 2017, have served on multiple NIH study section panels, and Chaired or Co-chaired several regional and international scientific conferences. I have served as Division B Chair and Divisional Group II Chair for the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and served as the ASM President from 2017 to 2018.  


Dr Sarah Coulthurst PhD
Reader and Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow 
School of Life Sciences 
University of Dundee
sarah coulthurst crop

I am a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow based in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee. I am a molecular bacteriologist with long-standing interests in protein secretion systems and inter-bacterial interactions, both co-operative and competitive. Current research in my lab is mainly focused on the Type VI secretion system, a protein ‘nanoweapon’ used by many bacteria to deliver toxic effector proteins into other cells. My group's aim is to understand how effectors are effectively delivered into rival bacterial and fungal competitors, and to elucidate the mode of action of the effectors and their impact on targeted cells and populations. We study Serratia marcescens and other opportunistic Gram-negative pathogens and aim to combine experimental approaches ranging from classical microbiology, genetics and genomics, through to cell biology, biochemistry and structural biology.