School of Computing Science

Staff Profiles

Dr Beth Lawry

Research Associate

Background

I am an RA at the School of Computing Science, however, I am primarily based in the wet labs at the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology, Newcastle University. I work on the i-sense and EPSRC IAA project "Sensing Systems to Detect and Identify Bacteria", providing proof-of-concept of a novel bioinformatics system used to generate microbial biomarkers. The focus of this project is to identify unique biomarkers and develop specific antibodies to identify pathogens. I am also exploring the commercial potential of the bioinformatics system and associated monoclonal antibody IP.


Research interests

  • Molecular biology
  • Biomarkers
  • Microbiology
  • Diagnostics
  • Antibody development
  • Bioinformatics - especially subcellular localisation tools



Since my project is multi-disciplinary, I have acquired a broad range of skills in molecular biology, bioinformatics and microbiology. I also have experience with working in mixed teams, communicating to a wide variety of specialists, and gained valuable knowledge of the requirements for patent writing and spin-out company formation.

To investigate the commercial potential of the bioinformatics system I am competing, as part of the IDRIS team, in Bio-start, a competition designed to commercialise the engineering of biology.

Research

My current RA role involves the use of a novel bioinformatics system to identify unique biomarkers for pathogenic bacteria, along with laboratory methods to produce and characterise monoclonal antibodies against these biomarkers. These biomarkers and antibodies could be used for point of care diagnostics, epidemiological studies and therapeutics. I work with pathogenic bacteria including C. difficile, MRSA, N. gonorrhoeae, P. aeruginosa and E.coli.

The techniques I use include:

  • Western blot
  • ELISA
  • Antibody production and purification
  • Immunofluorescence microscopy
  • Recombinant protein production
  • Protein purification
  • Flow cytometry
  • Cell culture
  • Lateral flow strips
  • Transmission electron microscopy
  • Microscale thermophoresis
  • Bioinformatics techniques, especially protein localisation tools


PhD project: Characterising novel biomarkers for use in point of need sensors: A Clostridium difficile case study

A patent is currently in writing for an antibody produced during the PhD that specifically binds to Clostridium difficile.


Teaching

Undergraduate Teacher and demonstrator

I have experience in the delivery and design of small group seminars, leading laboratory practicals and demonstrating techniques to undergraduate students enrolled in the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

Teaching experience

  • Cell biology
  • Molecular biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Final year projects
  • Pharmacolgy (limited demonstrating)

Publications