Research Profile

Nicky O'Boyle

Biography

Nicky O'Boyle obtained a BSc in Microbiology from the University of Galway in 2008. He then pursued a PhD in Molecular Microbiology at the University of Galway, and graduated in 2013. His doctoral research involved an exploration into the molecular mechanisms of adhesion and invasion used by the food-borne shellfish pathogen Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Following this, he moved to the University of Glasgow where he carried out two succesive postdoctoral research projects. The first, a three-year project involving the development and application of three-dimensional tissue culture models of cattle and sheep respiratory epithelia for the study of pneumonic pasteurellosis. He then spent 4-years working on the distinct responses of pathogenic E. coli (Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli, Uropathogenic E. coli, and neonatal-meningitis-associated E. coli) to host-associated metabolic signals. Dr O'Boyle joined the School of Microbiology at University College Cork in 2022.     


Research Interests

My work invovles deciphering the mechanisms that underpin the pathogenesis of bacterial pathogens. More specifically, I explore how metabolic signals at the host-pathogen interface are sensed to allow the co-ordinated regulation of virulence factors. The pathogenic E. coli comprise a diverse group of pathogens, some of which are restricted to their native environment within the gut, while others exhibit niche flexibility, being capable of colonising and causing disease at extraintestinal sites. Recent outputs from my research include a deep investigation into the differential responses of distinct E. coli pathotypes to niche-specific environmental signals, with particular emphasis on the D-amino acid D-serine. I hope to explore these relationships further and ultimately develop novel therapeutic interventions for the treatment of clinically important infectious diseases.

Publications

Peer Reviewed Journals

 YearPublication
(2021)'d-Serine induces distinct transcriptomes in diverse Escherichia coli pathotypes'
(2021) 'd-Serine induces distinct transcriptomes in diverse Escherichia coli pathotypes'. Microbiology (Reading, England), [DOI] [Details]
(2020)'A highly conserved complete accessory Escherichia coli type III secretion system 2 is widespread in bloodstream isolates of the ST69 lineage'
(2020) 'A highly conserved complete accessory Escherichia coli type III secretion system 2 is widespread in bloodstream isolates of the ST69 lineage'. Scientific Reports, [DOI] [Details]
(2020)'Prokaryotic life finds a way: insights from evolutionary experimentation in bacteria'
(2020) 'Prokaryotic life finds a way: insights from evolutionary experimentation in bacteria'. Critical reviews in microbiology, [DOI] [Details]
(2020)'The force awakens: The dark side of mechanosensing in bacterial pathogens'
(2020) 'The force awakens: The dark side of mechanosensing in bacterial pathogens'. Cellular signalling, [DOI] [Details]
(2020)'Widespread Strain-Specific Distinctions in Chromosomal Binding Dynamics of a Highly Conserved Escherichia coli Transcription Factor'
(2020) 'Widespread Strain-Specific Distinctions in Chromosomal Binding Dynamics of a Highly Conserved Escherichia coli Transcription Factor'. mBio, [DOI] [Details]
(2020)'Plastic Circuits: Regulatory Flexibility in Fine Tuning Pathogen Success'
(2020) 'Plastic Circuits: Regulatory Flexibility in Fine Tuning Pathogen Success'. Trends in Microbiology, [DOI] [Details]
(2020)'Differentiated ovine tracheal epithelial cells support the colonisation of pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains of Mannheimia haemolytica'
(2020) 'Differentiated ovine tracheal epithelial cells support the colonisation of pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains of Mannheimia haemolytica'. Scientific reports, [DOI] [Details]
(2020)'Heterogeneity in populations of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli undergoing D-serine adaptation'
(2020) 'Heterogeneity in populations of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli undergoing D-serine adaptation'. Current genetics, [DOI] [Details]
(2020)'Genomic plasticity of pathogenic Escherichia coli mediates d-serine tolerance via multiple adaptive mechanisms'
(2020) 'Genomic plasticity of pathogenic Escherichia coli mediates d-serine tolerance via multiple adaptive mechanisms'. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, [DOI] [Details]
(2019)'Distinct intraspecies virulence mechanisms regulated by a conserved transcription factor'
(2019) 'Distinct intraspecies virulence mechanisms regulated by a conserved transcription factor'. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, [DOI] [Details]
(2018)'Characterization of the Mode of Action of Aurodox, a Type III Secretion System Inhibitor from Streptomyces goldiniensis'
(2018) 'Characterization of the Mode of Action of Aurodox, a Type III Secretion System Inhibitor from Streptomyces goldiniensis'. Infection and Immunity, [DOI] [Details]
(2018)'Tracking elusive cargo: Illuminating spatio-temporal Type 3 effector protein dynamics using reporters'
(2018) 'Tracking elusive cargo: Illuminating spatio-temporal Type 3 effector protein dynamics using reporters'. Cellular Microbiology, [DOI] [Details]
(2018)'Optimisation of growth conditions for ovine airway epithelial cell differentiation at an air-liquid interface'
(2018) 'Optimisation of growth conditions for ovine airway epithelial cell differentiation at an air-liquid interface'. PLOS ONE, [DOI] [Details]
(2018)'Host-associated niche metabolism controls enteric infection through fine-tuning the regulation of type 3 secretion'
(2018) 'Host-associated niche metabolism controls enteric infection through fine-tuning the regulation of type 3 secretion'. Nature Communications, [DOI] [Details]
(2017)'Temporal dynamics of ovine airway epithelial cell differentiation at an air-liquid interface'
;;;; (2017) 'Temporal dynamics of ovine airway epithelial cell differentiation at an air-liquid interface'. PloS one, [DOI] [Details]
(2014)'Manipulation of intestinal epithelial cell function by the cell contact-dependent type III secretion systems of Vibrio parahaemolyticus'
O'Boyle N;Boyd A; (2014) 'Manipulation of intestinal epithelial cell function by the cell contact-dependent type III secretion systems of Vibrio parahaemolyticus'. [DOI] [Details]
(2013)'The MSHA pilus of Vibrio parahaemolyticus has lectin functionality and enables TTSS-mediated pathogenicity'
O'Boyle N;Houeix B;Kilcoyne M;Joshi L;Boyd A; (2013) 'The MSHA pilus of Vibrio parahaemolyticus has lectin functionality and enables TTSS-mediated pathogenicity'. [DOI] [Details]

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School of Microbiology

Scoil na Micribhitheolaíochta

Microbiology Office, Room FSB452, 4th Floor Food Science & Technology Building, University College Cork, Cork T12 K8AF

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