Prof. Mark Fielder
School/Department: Life Sciences, Pharmacy & Chemistry
Position: Professor of Medical Microbiology
I obtained my PhD from Kings College London in 1995 where I worked on bacterial causes of arthritis. In the same year I was awarded the Tadion-Rideal Prize for distinguished postdoctoral work in molecular science. My postdoctoral work was conducted in the Infectious Diseases Laboratory at St George's Hospital Medical School. Since I joined the School of Life Sciences at Kingston University in 1998 I have established and maintained an active research programme in the field of the medical and veterinary microbiology predominantly in the areas of mycoplasmas and Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA, MRSA ST398, Community acquired strains). we have a strong interest in infection control and disinfection. I have an internationally recognised expertise in the metabolomics of mycoplasmas, with collaborators in Italy, Africa, Spain and the United States.
Educational and Professional Qualifications
- 2011 - present Professor of Medical Microbiology
- 2007 - 2011 Reader in Medical Microbiology
- 2000 - 2007 Senior Lecturer in Medical Microbiology
- 1999 - 2000 Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PGCLTHE), Kingston University.
- 1998 - 2000 Lecturer in Microbiology
- 1995 - 1998 Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Infectious Diseases, St. George's Hospital Medical School
- 1992 - 1995 PhD in Microbiology, Infection and Immunity Group, King's College, University of London.
- 1990 - 1992 BSc Microbiology, King's College London
- 1989 - 1990 HND Applied Biology, Brighton College of Technology
The research interests of my group cluster neatly into three areas and are detailed below:
a) Research into the physiology and pathogenicity of Staphylococcus aureus and associated strains of MRSA.
I was in a position to influence the direction of my research interests when I came to Kingston University I pursued my personal research interests into staphylococci and specifically S. aureus. This lead to the development of a long lasting collaboration with Prof Paul Cuschieri in Malta and Dr Anthony Hilton of Aston University and initiated a fascinating study comparing the molecular epidemiology and the newly described MAR (multiple antibiotic resistance) profiling for S. aureus isolates from both the UK and Malta. This work was carried out following a university funded PhD programme in 2001, which yielded a number of papers and propelled the work further. I have concurrently developed an interest in the efficacy of cleaning agents in infection control in relation to S. aureus and MRSA. The success of this original work lead to a further PhD study examining the role of cleaning and cleaning agents in the hospital setting, the thesis is currently being written up.
I initiated a taught MSc research project, looking at the phenotypic presence of MRSA from food items, in response to increasing evidence that S. aureus might be also emerging from an animal lineage. I presented the project findings at the MedVetNet conference in Malta, 2006. The work has since generated much interest and we now have a fully funded PhD student in collaboration with VLA, looking at MRSA ST398 from farm animals.
b) Infection Control and Drug Resistant Pathogens
I have established strong links with the NHS, working both with the local trusts and the HPA. These links have lead to work examining the science behind the topical effects of Manuka honey in the successful treatment of infected wounds with a part-time PhD studentship registered at Kingston and funded by the Royal Marsden Hospital Sutton.
I currently direct a project jointly held between AHVLA and KU with a KU registered PhD student based at the AHVLA. The project aims to investigate the evolution and spread of resistant organisms especially those that are zoonotic, particularly CTXM E. coli containing extended spectrum β lactamase (ESBL) enzymes.
Work on biofilm formation and integrity is also an important part of the work carried out in my group. We currently have two ongoing projects in this area. In collaboration with Prof Robert Price and Dr Ramadan Abuknesha at Kings College London, we have a project looking at the disruption of biofilms in the food industry. More recently I was awarded a grant from the Kuwaiti Agriculture Department to examine biofilm formation in human mycoplasmas, this work started in October 2010 and funds a PhD student for three years.
c) Disease Modelling and Predictive Microbiology.
I was involved with a project funded by an FP6 EuResist project awarded to Prof Petroczi in Life Science. This was a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from all over the EU. It also allowed the strengthening of research collaborations between Life Science and Computing. Information Systems and Mathematics (CISM). The project required the statistical analysis of a large HIV database (> circa 20,000 patients) and the resultant analysis formed the basis for a PhD that is currently awaiting examination.
This initial collaboration has lead to a subsequent research link between Life Science and CISM in the form of a project modelling the effects of weather, cattle densities and water on the infections with E. coli 0157:H7 in England and Scotland. This work was facilitated following my close collaboration between Dr James Denholm-Price (KU) and Prof John Threlfall at the Centre for Infections, Colindale. Further modelling work is currently proposed with the development of an antibiotic resistance prediction engine based upon the probability of certain drug combination leading to identifiable resistance patterns.
International Research Collaborations
I have established several new international research collaborations during my time at Kingston University. My collaboration with Prof Paul Cuschieri, a consultant physician at St Luke's hospital Malta and Malta University has lead to several publications resulting in a seminal study of staphylococcal molecular epidemiology in Malta and has stimulated further potential studies in other parts of Europe including Spain and Italy.
I also have developed strong links with Dr Guido Loria at IZST Sicily, working on the metabolism of mycoplasmas and staphylococci. We have also initiated some interesting work on the metabolism of Dermatophilus congolensis, the causative agent of mud fever in humans and animals. It is hoped that metabolic profiling will lead to better identification of the organism and potential commercial exploitation of the findings.
I have also established a collaboration with the Central Veterinary Laboratory in Namibia. We currently have a PhD student registered at Kingston University working on the molecular epidemiology and vaccine potential (respectively) in Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides in cattle. This is a very exciting collaboration as it not only examines an important scientific issue but also satisfies my interest in international development and capacity building.
Working with Prof Andy Jewell at Kingston gave me opportunity to be part of a collaboration with the Medical Research Council Laboratories in The Gambia. In this collaboration I have co-supervised one PhD student working on co-infection with HIV and Hepatitis C. He was awarded his PhD from Kingston University in 2005, and has now moved to Calabar University in Nigeria, where we continue our collaborative work.
Within the group we are also looking to identify areas to commercialise research and we are currently working with a range of companies on funded projects to attempt to take products closer to the market place. This is area that we are actively developing to compliment our research work.
Current Group members
Current PhD Students:
» Ammar Awadh
» Dorota Jamrozy
» Matthew Stokes
» Jacqueline Kenny
» Georgina Tjipura-Zaire
» Jon Epstein
» Aleksei Chmura
Current MSc by Research Students:
» Andre Skepple
» Nasir Tahir (co-supervised with Dr Simon Gould)
» Russell Smith (co-supervised with Dr Lori Snyder)
I teach in a number of areas within Medical microbiology including pathogenicity, host parasite interactions, innovations in diagnostic microbiology and epidemiology.
Other Professional Activity
I am the Hon Gen Sec for the Society for Applied Microbiology
020 8417 2843