Researcher biography

View Amanda's 2020 Global Change Scholars Program Showcase video.

Amanda is a PhD student in molecular microbiology at the University of Queensland. Amanda’s work focuses on Mycobacterium abscessus, a species of bacteria that is a human pathogen of increasing concern. M. abscessus mainly infects and causes disease in people with predisposing conditions, especially lung diseases. Concerns are growing for this organism because it is an extremely antibiotic-resistant superbug, so it can be very difficult to cure once someone is infected. The current ways that are used to detect M. abscessus in patients are slow and can miss infections (e.g. if M. abscessus is at a low load).

To address these issues, Amanda’s project aims to develop new molecular methods that can detect M. abscessus and predict antibiotic resistance patterns directly in patient samples. The use of these new methods in children with Cystic Fibrosis may assist doctors by speeding up the return of lab results and providing useful information to help guide antibiotic treatment plans.

Amanda’s principal advisor is Associate Professor David Whiley.