Research expertise

Short bio:

Conor graduated from Maynooth University, Kildare, Ireland, in 2007 with a B.Sc. in Bioinformatics and Genetics. His final year thesis focussed on the comparison of HIV and SIV in relation to host cell entry and coreceptor usage. Conor then began a Ph.D. in Galway University, Galway, Ireland, in the lab of Prof. Simon Travers, focussing on the interaction between the HIV envelope and the receptors CCR5 and CXCR4. This work primarily involved analysis of clinical data from the Maraviroc trial run by Pfizer, a drug which inhibits HIV cell entry by binding CCR5. 

After completing his Ph.D., Conor moved to Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada, in 2011 to start a postdoctoral fellowship researching the human microbiome. Here his work concentrated on lateral gene transfers between bacteria residing within the human digestive tract. In 2014 Conor moved to the ITM to begin work as a research fellow within the Mycobacteriology Unit.

 

Research focus:


Conor uses bioinformatics methods to undertake a range of genomic analyses within both the Mycobacterium genus and collaborations with other units within the institute. His work primarily focuses on the evolution of mycobacteria, primarily M. ulcerans and M. tuberculosis. His main projects involve tracing the evolution of drug resistant strains of M. tuberculosis and estimating the substitution and reproductive rates of mycobacterial species.

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