Dr Karla Mettrick

Dr Karla Mettrick

Casual Academic

School of Environmental and Life Sciences

Career Summary

Biography

My research focuses on furthering the understanding of key processes within pathogenic bacteria with the primary goal of discovering novel targets for antibiotic development. In my research I utilise various molecular microbiology techniques to investigate bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These bacteria can cause acute and chronic infections in humans and urgently require new antibiotics for their treatment. I investigate DNA repair pathways in E. coli using a novel technology that stalls a replication fork in a living cell and then analyse the pathways and processes that allow the bacterial cell to repair itself and survive. My interest in P. aeruginosa has stemmed from the study of signalling pathways related to iron transport. I have investigated these to understand the role iron has in P. aeruginosa infection within the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients. I have also investigated whether various iron chelators and genetic mutations can disrupt the biofilms that P. aeruginosa forms which makes treatment of these infections so difficult. 


Qualifications

  • PhD (Biochemistry), University of Otago - New Zealand
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), University of Otago - New Zealand

Keywords

  • DNA repair
  • Molecular microbiology

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
060199 Biochemistry and Cell Biology not elsewhere classified 20
060599 Microbiology not elsewhere classified 60
110899 Medical Microbiology not elsewhere classified 20

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Casual Academic University of Newcastle
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Australia

Teaching

Code Course Role Duration
BIOL2002 Laboratory Skills in Biological Systems
Faculty of Science | University of Newcastle | Australia
Lecturer 1/01/2017 - 31/12/2017
BIOL1001 Molecules, Cells and Organisms
Faculty of Science | University of Newcastle | Australia
Lecturer 1/01/2015 - 31/12/2016
BIOL2010 Biochemistry
Faculty of Science | University of Newcastle | Australia
Lecturer/Course coordinator 1/01/2013 - 31/12/2017
BIOL2090 Microbial Biology
Faculty of Science | University of Newcastle | Australia
Lecturer 1/01/2013 - 31/12/2017
BIOL3100 Microbiology
Faculty of Science | University of Newcastle | Australia
Lecturer/Course coordinator 1/01/2013 - 31/12/2017
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Highlighted Publications

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Mettrick KA, Grainge I, 'Stability of blocked replication forks in vivo', Nucleic Acids Research, 44 657-668 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/nar/gkv1079
Citations Scopus - 9Web of Science - 7
Co-authors Ian Grainge

Chapter (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2012 Doherty GP, Mettrick KA, Grainge IR, Lewis PJ, 'Imaging fluorescent protein fusions in live bacteria', Methods in Microbiology, Academic Press, Kidlington, Ox 107-126 (2012) [B1]
Co-authors Peter Lewis, Ian Grainge
2008 Imperi F, Mettrick KA, Shirley M, Tiburzi F, Draper RC, Visca P, Lamont IL, 'Iron Transport and Signaling in Pseudomonads', Pseudomonas: Model Organism, Pathogen, Cell Factory 129-165 (2008) [B2]
DOI 10.1002/9783527622009.ch6

Journal article (3 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Mettrick KA, Lawrence N, Mason C, Weaver GM, Corocher TA, Grainge I, 'Inducing a site specific replication blockage in E. coli using a fluorescent repressor operator system', Journal of Visualized Experiments, 2016 (2016) [C1]

© 2016 Journal of Visualized Experiments. Obstacles present on DNA, including tightly-bound proteins and various lesions, can severely inhibit the progression of the cell¿s repl... [more]

© 2016 Journal of Visualized Experiments. Obstacles present on DNA, including tightly-bound proteins and various lesions, can severely inhibit the progression of the cell¿s replication machinery. The stalling of a replisome can lead to its dissociation from the chromosome, either in part or its entirety, leading to the collapse of the replication fork. The recovery from this collapse is a necessity for the cell to accurately complete chromosomal duplication and subsequently divide. Therefore, when the collapse occurs, the cell has evolved diverse mechanisms that take place to restore the DNA fork and allow replication to be completed with high fidelity. Previously, these replication repair pathways in bacteria have been studied using UV damage, which has the disadvantage of not being localized to a known site. This manuscript describes a system utilizing a Fluorescence Repressor Operator System (FROS) to create a site-specific protein block that can induce the stalling and collapse of replication forks in Escherichia coli. Protocols detail how the status of replication can be visualized in single living cells using fluorescence microscopy and DNA replication intermediates can be analyzed by 2-dimensional agarose gel electrophoresis. Temperature sensitive mutants of replisome components (e.g. DnaBts) can be incorporated into the system to induce a synchronous collapse of the replication forks. Furthermore, the roles of the recombination proteins and helicases that are involved in these processes can be studied using genetic knockouts within this system.

DOI 10.3791/54434
Co-authors Ian Grainge
2016 Mettrick KA, Grainge I, 'Stability of blocked replication forks in vivo', Nucleic Acids Research, 44 657-668 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/nar/gkv1079
Citations Scopus - 9Web of Science - 7
Co-authors Ian Grainge
2009 Mettrick KA, Lamont IL, 'Different roles for anti-sigma factors in siderophore signalling pathways of Pseudomonas aeruginosa', MOLECULAR MICROBIOLOGY, 74 1257-1271 (2009) [C1]
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2009.06932.x
Citations Scopus - 29Web of Science - 30

Conference (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2008 Mettrick KA, Lamont IL, 'Iron signalling pathway interactions in the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa', FEBS JOURNAL, Athens, GREECE (2008) [E3]
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed0
Current3

Total current UON EFTSL

PhD1.15

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2016 PhD When Forks Collide: Analysis of Replication Fork Collisions in E. coli PhD (Biological Sciences), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2015 PhD The Role of Helicases in Replication Fork Processing and Restart Following Stalling in E.coli PhD (Biological Sciences), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2014 PhD Frequency of Chromosome Dimers Resulting From Replication Fork Processing Following Blockage or Collapse PhD (Biological Sciences), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
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Dr Karla Mettrick

Position

Casual Academic
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Faculty of Science

Contact Details

Email karla.mettrick@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4921 5808

Office

Room BG14
Building Biological Sciences.
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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