Dr Owen B. Spiller
I lead the U.K. site for the international reference laboratory in Ureaplasma and Mycoplasma pathogenicity and antimicrobial resistance testing. Aside from a long standing productive collaboration with Public Health England, developing new clinical diagnostic and microbial typing schemes, I am also an adjunct associate professor with the Univeristy of Western Australia, the elected Secretary-General for the International Organisation of Mycoplasmology and the current elected Treasurer for the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Mycoplasma study group. My expertise is in determining underlying mechanisms of bacterial antimicrobial resistance, primarily in Mycoplasmas and Ureaplasmas, but expanding into Streptococcus agalactiae and Legionella pneumophilia. I am currently located on the 6th floor of the University Hospital of Wales, Department of Medical Microbiology which also includes the adjacent laboratories of Prof. Timothy Walsh and Dr. Mark Toleman.
Originally a Canadian Microbiologist from Vancouver, I initially came to the U.K. to examine innate immune evasion of microbes. From 2000 to 2005 I established an independed research group through the Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship Program, before joining the Department of Child Health at University Hosptial of Wales in 2005 to develop a new research theme examining antimicrobial resistance in bacterial infections of premature neonates. This led to my establishing the leading U.K. reference laboratory for investigations of Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma infections. These cell wall-less bacteria are inherently resistant to most antimicrobials and are the leading cause of preterm birth and are emerging as respiratory pathogens. I am in my second elected term as the Secretary-General of the International Organisation of Mycoplasmology (http://iom-online.org) and have just completed 2 elected terms as the mycoplasma antimicrobial resistance officer for the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (https://www.escmid.org/research_projects/study_groups/mycoplasma_infections/executive_committee/).
In 2012, I began a Royal Society funded collaboration with the University of Western Australia to investigate intrauterine microbial pathology and develop new antibiotics that were safe and effective for use in pregnant women. These collaborations resulted in my being awarded an adjunct associate professorship at the University of Western Australia's School of Women's and Infant's Health, Perth, Australia in 2015.
Also in 2015, I joined the All Wales Antimicrobial Resistance Engagement unit, headed by Prof. Timothy Walsh, and have been expanding my research of antimicrobial resistance to other bacteria. As a result in 2017, I have new research projects characterising Group B Streptococcus strains isolated from U.K. sepsis patients and characterisation of Legionella pnuemophilia isolates from U.K. outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease, also known as legionellosis.
Education and qualifications:
1995: PhD (Pathology), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Anrhydeddau a Dyfarniadau
- 2000 Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship
- 2015 awarded honorary adjunct Associate Professorship at the University of Western Australia