Personal details

Name
Associate Professor Makrina Totsika
Position(s)
Principal Research Fellow
Faculty of Health,
School - Biomedical Sciences,
Research - Biomedical Sciences
IHBI Membership
Institute of Health Biomedical Innovation (IHBI),
IHBI Health Projects,
IHBI Biomedical Sciences - CDA
Discipline *
Medical Microbiology, Microbiology, Genetics
Phone
+61 7 3138 0410
Email
Location
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
Identifiers and profiles
ORCID iD
Qualifications

PhD (University of Edinburgh)

Professional memberships
and associations

Fellow of the Australian Society for Microbiology (FASM), Member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), Member of the Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR)

Keywords

bacterial pathogenesis, adhesins, biofilms, virulence, urinary tract infections, intestinal infections, E. coli, Salmonella, antimicrobial resistance, antivirulence therapeutics

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008

Biography

Dr Makrina Totsika is currently a Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow at QUT. Originally from Volos, Greece, Makrina moved to Scotland in 1998 to study at the University of Edinburgh, where she graduated with a First Class BSc(Hons) in Biological Sciences-Genetics (2002), a MSc by Reseach in Life Sciences with Distinction (2003) and a PhD in Bacterial Genetics (2007). Makrina was the recipient of a prestigious Wellcome Trust 4-Year PhD studentship for her research project on virulence gene regulation in pathogenic bacteria that she conducted at the Centre for Infectious Diseases Research. Makrina immigrated to Australia in 2007 and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Queensland until 2013. During this time she continued her research into bacterial pathogenesis, with a focus on adherence mechanisms and biofilm formation. Makrina received a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) from the Australian Research Council in 2013 for her project: ‘Understanding how bacteria become sticky’ and joined QUT in mid-2014 to start her own group within the Infectious Diseases Program at IHBI. She has continued to study bacterial virulence, adhesion and host-pathogen interactions during urinary tract infections caused by multi-drug resistant pathogens. Makrina has also attracted funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council for her research investigating a new class of anti-infection drugs designed to prevent superbugs from sticking to host cells and thus blocking the first step of the infection process.

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Makrina Totsika.

Teaching

Microbiology 2nd and 3rd year units – LQB362, LQB594

Infectious Diseases Capstone unit – LQB694

Honours Research Careers Seminar – HLP106

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Makrina Totsika.

Experience

Research Supervisor, STEM for High Schools QUT Research Internships Program 2016, 2015

‘When antibiotics stop working, the bugs fight back’ Public Lecture, National Science Week 2014

‘Meet the next deadly E. coli  superbug’ QLD Finalist, Fresh Science 2012

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Makrina Totsika.

Publications


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.

Research projects

Grants and projects (Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only)

Title
Molecular Mechanisms of Novel Bacterial Copper Defense Proteins
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
DP190101613
Start year
2019
Keywords
Title
DsbA Foldases from Multidrug Resistant Pathogens as Targets for New Antimicrobials
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
1144046
Start year
2018
Keywords
Infection, Virulence, Enzyme Inhibitors, Enzyme Activity, Antimicrobial Therapy
Title
DsbA Inhibitors: From Hits to Leads
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
1099151
Start year
2016
Keywords
Title
The current multidrug resistant Escherichia coli pandemic: exploring novel therapies against the predominant culprit E. coli ST131.
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
1069370
Start year
2014
Keywords
Escherichia Coli; Adhesins; Virulence; Urinary Tract Infection (UTI); Multidrug Resistance; Fimbriae; Infectious Diseases
Title
Understanding how bacteria become sticky
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
DE130101169
Start year
2013
Keywords
Bacterial Adhesins; Disulfide Bond Proteins; Periplasmic Chaperones

Supervision