Dr Laura McCaughey

Research Field: Immunology

Antibiotics are the cornerstone of modern medicine. Without them things like chemotherapy, routine
surgeries and organ transplants couldn’t be performed. Even a simple cut could once again become
life-threatening. Worryingly, antibiotics are already no longer working against a huge range of bacteria
because the bacteria are always changing and evolving to ‘fight off’ and resist the antibiotics effects.
Dr McCaughey aims to understand how a group of protein antibiotics, called pyocins, work to kill
bacteria. By doing so, she hopes to advance these new antibiotics through clinical trials to the mass
market, providing an alternative strategy for treating multi-drug resistant bacterial infections.
Laura’s public outreach includes blogs, articles, radio interviews, podcasts and public talks, as well as
being the project manager of Soapbox Science Sydney. This large scale public event promotes all
STEMM disciplines, showcases researchers from across Australia and aims to impact on all sectors
of society through its fun and accessible format.
Laura received her PhD from the University of Glasgow in 2015 and is currently a Sir Henry Wellcome
Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney.