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APEC-Australia Women in Research
Fellowship 2022
Dr. Anggia Prasetyoputri
Anggia Prasetyoputri.jpeg

Economy: Indonesia

Host Institution: The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne

Project Title: Genetic manipulation and construction of Staphylococcus aureus mutants via allelic exchange

Project Outline:

This work aims to construct S. aureus mutants with target genes of interest are those involved in WTA syntheses, such as tarO, tarA or tarG. tarO knockout mutants were shown to enable WTA inhibitor screening amenable to HTS. Mutants will be generated in a number of different S. aureus backgrounds via the allelic exchange, following which the resulting mutants will be confirmed via sequencing and characterised. The ultimate objective is to acquire distinctive skills and knowledge

in S. aureus genetic manipulation and mutant construction, specifically targeting the CW synthesis pathway. These techniques are also transferable to other Gram-positive bacteria, thereby opening up new avenues of genetic studies in other clinically relevant pathogens. Mastering skills in genetic manipulation of Gram-positive pathogens is anticipated to yield beneficial outcomes. Firstly, it enables the future development of pathway-directed whole cell-based assays that are crucial for antibacterial discovery in Indonesia. Secondly, such skills can be leveraged to identify new viable drug targets, study potential mechanisms of action of lead compounds, elucidate molecular mechanisms underpinning resistance, and perform functional genomic analyses to validate mutations suspected to confer antibiotic resistance. Collectively, these efforts will enhance our understanding of the biology of important pathogens and support antibiotic discovery and development, towards finding solutions to fight AMR.

Reasons for applying for fellowship:

I believe this fellowship will grant me access to cutting-edge research, and advanced facilities and expand my professional network with experts in molecular microbiology and microbial genomics in Australia. Fostering collaboration with Australian research partners is also highly advantageous as it will open up future opportunities for joint research, international funding applications, and the transfer of skills and knowledge.

Past Achievements:

Anggia undertook her postgraduate studies in Australia, both with the Australia Awards Scholarship. She obtained her PhD from The University of Queensland, her Master's by Research from the University of Melbourne, and her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Indonesia. During her PhD at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, she was involved in multidisciplinary research combining microbiology, bioinformatics, and medicinal chemistry, sparking her interest in antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic discovery to treat Gram-positive bacterial infections. In her final year of PhD, Anggia secured a highly competitive Candidate Development Award travel grant from UQ Graduate School to present her PhD work and attend the ESCMID annual summer school in clinical microbiology and infectious diseases in Liverpool, UK. Upon completion of her PhD, Anggia translated her knowledge and skills in microbial genomics and Nanopore sequencing to join the efforts of SARS-Cov-2 genomic surveillance in Indonesia, where she played a role in establishing SARS-Cov-2 genomic surveillance in LIPI (now BRIN) by transfer of skills and knowledge in the wet-lab workflow of Nanopore sequencing. In 2020, Anggia secured a prestigious L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science National Fellowship in Life Science (Indonesia) for her proposed work on using Nanopore sequencing to detect bacterial coinfection in COVID-19 samples. Anggia is currently a researcher at the Research Centre for Applied Microbiology, National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Republic of Indonesia. She and her research group are interested in discovering microbial-derived drug leads with anti-infective and/or anticancer activity, with a personal interest in finding new antibiotics to treat drug-resistant pathogens. She is also highly passionate about tackling the challenges of AMR and is actively involved in a number of multidisciplinary research projects that use Nanopore sequencing to better understand the dissemination of AMR in humans, animals and the environment.

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