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Dr Steve Petrovski Teaching & Research - Snr Lecturer, Physiology Anatomy & Microbiology

The research focus in the Petrovski Lab is microbial genetics specifically mobile genetic elements which include transposons, plasmids and bacteriophages. Current active projects include studying the epidemiology of the Tn5053/Tn402 family and investigating their mechanism of transposition at the molecular level. In addition the laboratory is interested in the evolution and dissemination of antibiotic resistance plasmids and the mechanisms of their conjugation functions as well as proteins that can interfere with their conjugal ability. Another main area of the laboratories research interest focuses on the isolation and genetic characterisation of bacteriophages that specifically infect both clinically important bacteria and environmental bacteria and ways in which they can be used or manipulated in phage therapy or biocontrol. Current active projects include developing bacteriophage cocktails to apply as a reliable method to control operational problems that commonly occur in wastewater treatment plants, as well as the development of novel pharmaceutical products containing bacteriophages to combat infections (in collaboration with the school of pharmacy and Melbourne health). Methods are currently being developed to genetically manipulate bacteriophages in attempts to develop bacteriophage biosensors.

Steve obtained his PhD in 2008 studying the genetic diversity of transposable elements that interact with broad host range plasmids. He then did a three year postdoctoral research position at La Trobe in Bendigo where he worked on isolating bacteriophages to develop a biocontrol method for wastewater foaming. Steve then worked at the department of primary industries where he developed skills in illumina next generation sequencing technology. He then worked as a hospital medical scientist before joining La Trobe University and started up his own research laboratory.

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