School of Life Sciences
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Liz Sockett

Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

Contact

  • workRoom C15 School of Life Sciences, Medical School
    Queen's Medical Centre
    Nottingham
    NG7 2UH
    UK
  • work0115 8230325
  • fax0115 8230338

Biography

BSc University of Leeds 1983; PhD University College London 1986; Research Associate, University of Illinois 1986-88; Research Associate, University of Oxford 1988-1990. Lecturer (1991-98) University of Nottingham Life Sciences. Lecturer (1998) Snr Lecturer (2001) Reader(2004) Professor (2005), University of Nottingham Institute of Genetics.

Lord Dearing Award 2000, Royal Society BAAS Millennium Award 2000, Society for General Microbiology Peter Wildy Prize 2006, Daiwa-Adrian Prize for Anglo-Japanese Science 2007.

University of Nottingham Student Union's Tutor Oscar 2011 and Research Supervisor Oscar 2013.

Expertise Summary

Bdellovibrio predatory bacteria- molecular biology and applications.

Teaching Summary

I am the Undergraduate Welfare Officer for then School of Biology- this is the equivalent of the pastoral role of a Senior Tutor for the School. I try to help students whose personal issues are… read more

Research Summary

Our research group studies the predatory delta-Proteobacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus. Bdellovibrio are tiny bacteria that naturally invade and eat the pathogenic bacteria that cause skin ulcer,… read more

Recent Publications

I am the Undergraduate Welfare Officer for then School of Biology- this is the equivalent of the pastoral role of a Senior Tutor for the School. I try to help students whose personal issues are affecting their studies, in liaison with the University Central support Services with whom I have a very good working relationship.

I convene and teach on three undergraduate modules at Nottingham- all with specialisms in bacteriology.

C41105 Microbiology is a first year module in Semester 1 with 205 enthusiastic freshers! I teach about 23 lectures on bacteria and archaea- a first taste of the bacterial world! Colleagues offer 3 practicals and 8 lectures on fungi.

C42418 Bacterial Genes and Development is a 2nd year module that I co teach with Dr Thorsten Allers to around 100 2nd years. We explain the intricacies and beauty of the mechanisms of gene regulation in model bacteria and in pathogens, phages and spores.

C13397 Pathogens is a third year module taken by about 80 final year B.Sc students. I teach three weeks on TB, E.coli and Salmonella gut infections and the need to tackle antibiotic resistance in pathogens. My colleagues teach on malaria, schistosomes, candida and other fungal infections and on human susceptibility to infection. I organize a poster conference at which students present pathogens posters, judged by myself, my academic colleagues and their peers.

I run undergraduate research projects on Bdellovibrio bacteria,,with the help of my lab research group.

The University kindly awarded me a Lord Dearing Prize for teaching in 2000.

I was awarded the Peter Wildy Prize by the UK Microbiology Society (SGM) in 2006 for communicating and teaching about microbiology.

The Nottingham Student's Union kindly awarded me a "Tutor Oscar" in 2010-11 in the Category of Best All Rounder.

Current Research

Our research group studies the predatory delta-Proteobacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus. Bdellovibrio are tiny bacteria that naturally invade and eat the pathogenic bacteria that cause skin ulcer, burn & pressure sore infections in people, whilst not being infectious. Our long-term goals are to establish Bdellovibrio as a treatment for Gram-negative bacterial infections in humans, and in animals and plants.

Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus

Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus

Our achievements include: the establishment of a genetic system to manipulate Bdellovibrio, showing that flagellar motility, although important for locating prey, is not essential for prey-entry, but that surface pili are; identification of a group of prey-bacterial genes that are upregulated by Bdellovibrio attack; establishing that Bdellovibrio predation is effective in bodily fluids including serum and begun characterising the immune response of humans to Bdellovibrio In collaboration with Professor John King we developed a mathematical model of Bdellovibrio predation in the presence of live decoy bacteria, of importance in establishing how Bdellovibrio could be applied as a "living antibiotic". In 2011 we published the first experimental trial of Bdellovibrio as an oral treatment for Salmonella in poultry, esablishing activity without affecting animal wellbeing. Collaboration with Dr Stephan Schuster resulted in publication of the first genome sequence from a predatory bacterium and we determined the predatory transcriptome of genes expressed upon prey attack. From this we have identified a range of proteins that are potentially key to the predatory process, and are taking a multi-disciplinary proteomic, ultrastructural and genetic approach to understand their functions, collaborating with structural biologist Dr Andy Lovering at University of Birmingham and (in GB Sasakawa Foundation-funded project) with our collaborator Prof Shin-Ichi Aizawa (University of Hiroshima). This work had led to two publications in 2012 showing 1) How cyclic di GMP signaling is key to the switch from predatory to non predatory growth and 2) How predatory enzymes have evolved to have broad range peptidoglycan degradative properties and how these allow predatory penetration of diverse prey bacteria by Bdellovibrio . We are currently funded by BBSRC for our Bdellovibrio projects and previously by HFSP and Wellcome Trust.

Liz's labgroup

Liz's lab

School of Life Sciences

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham NG7 2UH

e: life-sciences@nottingham.ac.uk
t: +44 (0)115 823 0141
f: +44 (0)115 823 0142