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Ronnie Mooney

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Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

My area of expertise is in parasitology and microbiology with a particular focus on drug discovery and antimicrobial resistance. Experienced in working with the eukaryotic pathogens Acanthamoeba, Neoparamoeba and Leishmania species as well as several prokaryotic species.

 

My previous research has focused on developing drug therapies for use against Acanthamoeba and identifying novel resistance pathways through molecular and biochemical techniques. Currently, I am part of the NERC-funded India-UK antimicrobial resistance initiative: Advanced Metagenomics, Sensors and Photocatalysis for AMR elimination (AMSPARE). 

  

Current research activities

Advanced Metagenomics, Sensors and Photocatalysis for AMR elimination (AMSPARE)

A multidisciplinary project bringing together experts on sensor technologies, water treatment and remediation from India with experts on environmental microbiology, meta-omics geochemistry and policy and industrial regulatory processes from the UK, to engage the issue of AMR proliferation in the environment. Specifically, this project focuses on the potential for increased AMR due to aggravation by pharmaceutical waste entering waterways. This research is looking at AMR production within a complex interplay of environmental geochemical and microbiological processes, in order to refine policy and improve regulatory control in pharmaceutical waste management.

 

Identifying effective drug therapies against Acanthamoeba

Acanthamoebae are a genus of free-living amoebae that, when suitable conditions arise, can cause serious infections in humans including the sight-threatening Acanthamoeba keratitis. Currently, I am looking at the unique molecular pathways of Acanthamoeba with the aim of understanding the parasite better and opening up new targets for drug therapies. 

 

Understanding Neoparamoeba and improving treatment methods

Neoparamoebae are the causative agents of amoebic gill disease, a significant issue in the aquaculture industry. I am currently looking to improve our understanding of these organisms with the aim of developing improved treatment methods.  

 

Understanding the consequences of protist-bacteria interactions both environmentally and clinically 

Acanthamoeba and Neoparamoeba species exist in the environment with a host of other microorganisms, the interactions between these species can have several important clinical implications. Increased spread of AMR genes, resuscitation of VBNC bacteria and altered pathogenesis can result from protist-bacteria interactions and so we aim to further the knowledge surrounding these relationships to develop effective preventative strategies.   

 

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