Dr Stephanie Begg

Stephanie Begg
NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellow
School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Sciences

Dr Stephanie Begg is a researcher in the Research Centre for Infectious Diseases, where she is investigating the role of metal ions in the virulence and viability of bacterial pathogens.

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Dr Stephanie Begg

Dr Stephanie Begg is a researcher in the Research Centre for Infectious Diseases, where she is investigating the role of metal ions in the virulence and viability of bacterial pathogens.

Metal ions play an integral role in the cellular chemistry of all forms of life. During bacterial infection, the human host can use both metal ion intoxication and starvation in an attempt to kill invading bacteria. As a result, human bacterial pathogens such as Streptococcus pneumoniae have evolved an extensive repertoire of molecular mechanisms to survive and thrive in conditions of metal stress. My research investigates how bacterial pathogens steal essential metals, such as manganese and zinc, from the host during metal starvation, and conversely, how the bacteria resists metal toxicity during intoxication. By gaining a thorough understanding of the molecular mechanisms used by bacteria to survive and cause disease, we will discover novel opportunities for therapeutic exploitation, and help to combat the ever-increasing rates of antibiotic resistance.  


Date Position Institution name
2018 NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellow The University of Adelaide
2017 - 2017 Research Associate The University of Adelaide
2016 - 2016 Research Associate The University of South Australia
2012 - 2012 Research Assistant University of Adelaide, Adelaide

Awards and Achievements

Date Type Title Institution Name Amount
2017 Award University Doctoral Research Medal
2017 Award ASBMB Collins Bursary $915
2017 Fellowship ASBMB Fellowship $2500
2016 Achievement Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence
2015 Fellowship Australian Federation of Graduate Women Barbara Hale Fellowship
2014 Award Young Investigator Award $750
2013 - 2016 Scholarship Australian Postgraduate Award $84,000


Date Institution name Country Title
University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor Science (Biomedical Science)
University of Adelaide Australia PhD

Research Interests

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Infectious Diseases, Medical Microbiology, Transition Metal Chemistry


Year Citation
2017 Venter, H., Henningsen, M. L. & Begg, S. L. (2017). Antimicrobial resistance in healthcare, agriculture and the environment: the biochemistry behind the headlines. Essays In Biochemistry, 61, 1, 1-10.
2015 Pederick, V., Eijkelkamp, B., Begg, S., Ween, M., McAllister, L., Paton, J. & McDevitt, C. (2015). ZnuA and zinc homeostasis in pseudomonas aeruginosa. Scientific Reports, 5, 1, 13139-1-13139-14.
2015 Bajaj, M., Mamidyala, S., Zuegg, J., Begg, S., Ween, M., Luo, Z. ... Cooper, M. (2015). Discovery of novel pneumococcal surface antigen A (PsaA) inhibitors using a fragment-based drug design approach. ACS Chemical Biology, 10, 6, 1511-1520.
2015 Deplazes, E., Begg, S., van Wonderen, J., Campbell, R., Kobe, B., Paton, J. ... O'Mara, M. (2015). Characterizing the conformational dynamics of metal-free PsaA using molecular dynamics simulations and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. Biophysical Chemistry, 207, 51-60.
2015 Begg, S., Eijkelkamp, B., Luo, Z., Couñago, R., Morey, J., Maher, M. ... McDevitt, C. (2015). Dysregulation of transition metal ion homeostasis is the molecular basis for cadmium toxicity in Streptococcus pneumoniae. Nature Communications, 6, 6418, 6418-1-6418-11.
2014 Counago, R., Ween, M., Begg, S., Bajaj, M., Zuegg, J., O'Mara, M. ... McDevitt, C. (2014). Imperfect coordination chemistry facilitates metal ion release in the Psa permease. Nature Chemical Biology, 10, 1, 35-43.
2014 Pederick, V., Eijkelkamp, B., Ween, M., Begg, S., Paton, J. & McDevitt, C. (2014). Acquisition and role of molybdate in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 80, 21, 6843-6852.

Book Chapters

Year Citation
2016 McDevitt, C., Begg, S. & Paton, J. (2016). Metal ion Toxicity and Oxidative Stress in Streptococcus Pneumoniae. In F. de Burjin (Ed.), Stress and Environmental Regulation of Gene Expression and Adaptation in Bacteria (pp. 1184-1193). Hoboken, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc..

Conference Items

Year Citation
2016 Pederick, V. G., Eijkelkamp, B. A., Plumptre, C. D., Harvey, R. M., Hughes, C. E., Morey, J. R. ... McDevitt, C. A. (2016). The role of Pht proteins in pneumococcal zinc acquisition. BioMetals 2016. Dresden, Germany.
2015 Pederick, V. G., Begg, S. L., eijkelkamp, B. A., ween, M. P., Paton, J. C. & McDevitt, C. A. (2015). Metal uptake transporters – a microbial Achilles heel. An exchange workshop on antimicrobial resistance. UniSA.
2015 Pederick, V. G., Eijkelkamp, B. A., Begg, S. L., Ween, M. P., McAllister, L. J., Paton, J. C. & McDevitt, C. A. (2015). ZnuA and zinc homeostasis in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. BacPath 13: Molecular Analysis of Bacterial Pathogens Conference 2015. Phillip Island, VIC.
2013 Pederick, V. G., Eijkelkamp, B. A., Ween, M. P., Begg, S. L., Paton, J. C. & McDevitt, C. A. (2013). The role of molybdenum in Pseudomonas aeruginosa persistence. School of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences 3-Minute Thesis competition.

NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellowship (2018-2021)

Australian Federation of Graduate Women Barbara Hale Fellowship (2015) $8000

Laboratory Demonstrator- Masters of Biotechnology (2016)

Laboratory Demonstrator- Bachelor of Medicine/ Bachelor of Surgery Clinical Skills (2016)

Laboratory Demonstrator- Infection and Immunity (2015)


Date Role Membership Country
2015 - ongoing Member UK Biochemical Society
2014 - ongoing Member Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
2014 - ongoing Board Member Adelaide Protein Group
2013 - 2015 Member Australian Society for Microbiology
NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellow
North Terrace
Molecular Life Sciences
Room Number
4 40
Org Unit
Molecular and Cellular Biology