The topic of my PhD thesis is “Exploring the evolutionary success of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by investigation of rare clinical isolates with smooth colony morphology”
What is your current research interest / project?
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a major, globally spread, aerosol-transmitted human pathogen, thought to have evolved by clonal expansion from a Mycobacterium canettii-like progenitor. In contrast, extant M. canettii strains are rare, genetically-diverse and geographically restricted mycobacteria of only marginal epidemiological importance. I am thus interested to find the molecular events that have led to the contrasting evolutionary success of these two groups and which finally resulted in the emergence of M. tuberculosis as a professional pathogen of mammalian hosts.