Dr Maria Kaparakis-Liaskos
The Hudson Institute of Medical Research
Microbiology, host-pathogen interactions
Our body contains approximately 39 trillion bacteria and everyday we come into contact with countless others, some of which are capable of causing disease in humans. Dr Maria Liaskos’ research seeks to alleviate the enormous impact of bacterial infections by determining how bacteria causes disease in humans and how the immune system detects and defends against invasion.
Her research has identified a novel method used by all bacteria to cause disease. This involves the release of nanoparticles, or vesicles, that disease-causing bacteria use as ‘hand-grenades’ to cause destruction, inflammation and illness in humans. Maria’s findings have already been applied by international researchers to other bacterial infections including meningitis, typhoid fever, and cholera. Her work hopefully provide the basis for develop innovative vaccines to prevent bacterial disease.