Dr Emanuele Pelosi

Endometriosis in MRKH syndrome: new evidence and possible mechanisms

Overview: Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome is a congenital disorder, characterized by the incomplete development of uterus and vagina. MRKH syndrome is the most severe of uterine anomalies, incompatible with pregnancy, and often associated with additional malformations (MRKH type II) affecting the kidneys, and the skeletal system. We generated the first animal model of MRKH syndrome type II and performed single cell transcriptomics to identify cell lineages in the uterus and understand how they fail to develop. Surprisingly, this analysis is providing valuable information on additional conditions that are often overlooked in MRKH, including endometriosis.

Bio: Dr Pelosi received his PhD in Medical Biotechnology in 2006. He worked at the National Institute of Health, USA, where he studied sex determination, ovarian development, and premature menopause. He joined the University of Queensland in 2016, establishing an international and multidisciplinary team of clinicians and researchers to define the aetiology of DSD.


Bushra Alharbi and Lebo Mhango

Molecular tools to improve the management of Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Overview:  Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global concern, and AMR surveillance is limited in many regions. In Queensland, only 25% of NG notifications are being captured by bacterial culture (and therefore AMR testing), and the remainder 75% of infections are diagnosed with nucleic acid amplification tests only. Current NG treatment guidelines in most setting is ceftriaxone 500 mg IM and azithromycin 1 g orally. However, in recent years, azithromycin AMR has been on the rise, and according to the Australian Gonococcal Surveillance Programme which is based on isolate data, the current Qld azithromycin resistance rate is 4.9% (where the recommended WHO resistance threshold is 5% to cease the use of a drug). Low culture rate results in a gap of AMR surveillance data, leading to increasing concerns that sporadic incursions or local transmission of AMR strains may be missed. Importantly, ceftriaxone is a last resort drug, with no new alternatives so far. This reinforces the need for enhanced surveillance and alternative treatment approaches to be developed. 

Bio: In this session, two PhD students from the Microbial Diagnostics and Characterisation Group will be presenting their respective work to close the gaps in resistance surveillance and improve antimicrobial stewardship approaches for NG. Bushra Alharbi is a PhD student nearing her confirmation milestone. Her PhD objective is to develop novel approaches for the management of gonorrhoea resistance. Her research interests are molecular microbiology and microbial diagnostics. Lebogang Mhango is a PhD student and research assistant who is also nearing confirmation. Her research interests are antimicrobial resistance and novel approaches to manage STIs.

About UQCCR Seminar Series

UQCCR Seminar Series

The UQ Centre of Clinical Research (UQCCR) Seminars are held fortnightly on Wednesdays from 12 pm - 1 pm (except during school holidays) currently on Zoom. The series features topics in multiple research fields, presented by invited international, interstate and local researchers.