Stephen Kidd

Dr Stephen Kidd

Microbiology & Immunology Senior Lecturer

School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Stephen graduated from the University of Queensland (PhD - molecular microbiology) and then undertook postdoctoral work at the University of Birmingham (UK) with Prof Nigel Brown. He moved to the University of Adelaide in 2008 where he works on pathogenic bacteria. He has consistently worked on gene regulation in bacteria.

His current research is focussed on determining the molecular and transcriptional systems bacteria use to survive under prolonged periods of time with stress. What is particularly interesting is that within an anatomical niche and importantly, over time, bacteria generate a diversity of cell types and these enable survival. Identifying and characterising these adaptive cell types is important for understanding chronic and relapsing infectious diseases. His research investigates various pathogenic bacteria. Within different anatomical niches he is interested in numerous stresses the bacteria encounter and these include nutrient stress, changes in pH as well a direct chemical stress (such as oxidative stress) and the stress generated by antibiotics.

Overview

Our focus is to understand chronic and relapsing bacterial infections. We use various traditional microbiological techniques together with modern –omics approaches to determine the molecular systems that bacteria use to survive for prolonged periods of time under physical and chemical stresses. What is particularly interesting is that when infecting an anatomical niche, over a long time period, bacteria generate a diversity of cell types – it is these that enable survival against various antimicrobial processes. 

SCV cells

By creating steady-state growth conditions we can enable the broader bacterial cell types which may have decreased fitness; to be studied – these include biofilm cells, persister cells and Small Colony Variants (SCVs). Identifying and characterising these adaptive cell types is important for understanding chronic and relapsing infectious diseases. Our research investigates various pathogenic bacteria, commensal bacteria that do switch to a virulent type and the combinations of bacteria. 

RESEARCH PROJECTS:                 Model for SCV

Many bacterial species have a capacity to respond to antimicrobial processes and assaults by the production of any number of virulence factors (above; blue circles). Pathology that is due to bacterial infection is generally the result of the interaction between these factors and the host cells. There is also a very clear understanding that within a clonal population of bacterial cells there are a variety of cell types (phenotypic variants). This may include the Small Colony Variants (SCVs – above; pale green circles), persister cells (above; dark green circles) and biofilm cells (above; gold circles).

These cell types are quasi-dormant, they have limited expression of virulence factors and immune mediators and they have low metabolic activity and growth. There are inherently tolerant of antibiotics. They are very hard to clear from the site of infection and are the basis for chronic and relapsing infections.

Compounded with this is that often within the body there are pre-existing bacteria or other co-infecting pathogens. We have projects that study different bacterial species and their transition into an alternative lifestyle: such as Staphylococcus aureusMoraxella catarrhalisHaemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoninae.

We have used continuous culture techniques to follow the development of phenotypically diverse populations (as a mono-culture or within a community of bacterial species) and then to map the transcriptional, molecular and genetic events that define these changes in the population. This includes the transition to a biofilm and the dynamics of a multi-species biofilm. We are also interested in following the molecular genetics of the bacteria and the bacterial population as they adapt to their environment in laboratory scale evolution expierments.

SCV SEM       CURRENT STUDENT PROJECTS:

We have Honours Projects each year within the theme of the molecular microbiology of pathogenic bacteria during their response to stresses. The projects involve traditional microbiology, molecular biology and modern –omics techniques as well as cell biology (using human tissue culture techniques). Projects are designed around both fundamental, training and achievable tasks alongside extended goals. These projects are designed within the context of the current, developing research within the laboratory. The work is essential research, with a focus to combine with the bigger projects and therefore for scientific publications. The exact nature of the work can be discussed and actual projects described in the month or so leading into the start of the Honours year. 

Masters and PhD projects:

We welcome Masters or PhD students and can happily discuss the nature of such projects. 

 

 

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2018 Deputy Director (Australian Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance Ecology, ACARE) University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2017 Associate Dean (Student Life) University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2013 Senior Lecturer University of Adelaide
    2008 - 2012 Lecturer University of Adelaide
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2012 Award Faculty of Science Early Career Teaching Award University of Adelaide Australia
    2009 Fellowship Fellow of the Australian Society for Microbiology ASM Australia
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2008 University of Queensland, Brisbane Australia Graduate Certificate (Higher Education)
    1995 - 1998 University of Queensland Australia PhD
  • Research Interests

I am Program Co-ordinator for the Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology). 

I am Course Co-ordinator for Microbiology II

I teach into several other course.

I lead a Global Mobility Study tour to South Korea - Seoul-changing Biotechnology.

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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 Co-Supervisor Effect of feedlot antimicrobial use patterns on resistance of Salmonella species, Escherichia coli and Enterococcus species in manure, faecal samples, carcase swabs and retail beef products Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Yohannes Equar Messele
    2019 Co-Supervisor Disruption of sub-gingival biofilms using innovative anti-microbial compounds to prevent and treat periodontal disease Master of Philosophy (Dentistry) Master Part Time Ms Julia Kaburaki
    2018 Principal Supervisor Induction of Stable Small Colony Variants in Staphylococcus Aureus Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr James Lee
    2018 Principal Supervisor Development of Bioluminescent Mouse Models for Pre-clinical Testing of Novel Antimicrobials for Treatment of Gram-negative Bacterial Infections Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Hang Thi Nguyen
    2018 Co-Supervisor Development of novel antimicrobial nanomaterials for surface elimination of persistent bacteria Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Afshin Karami
    2017 Co-Supervisor Parameters affecting biodigester performance Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Mathu Indren
    2017 Co-Supervisor The role of persistent Lifestyles of Staphylococcus in ureus in bone infections Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Nicholas James Gunn
    2016 Co-Supervisor Role of Shigelle Flexner Surface Molecules in Pathogenesis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Jilong Qin
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2015 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Characterisation of the Shigella flexneri O Antigen Polymerase Wzy Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Pratiti Nath
    2013 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Polarity and Secretion of Shigella flexneri IcsA: A Classical Autotransporter Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Matthew Thomas Doyle
    2012 - 2016 Principal Supervisor Haemophilus influenzae survival and biofilm formation in a complex physical, chemical and multispecies environment. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Alexandra Tikhomirova
    2011 - 2015 Principal Supervisor STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS: STRESS RESPONSE AND ITS ROLES IN PATHOGENESIS Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Minh Giao Long Bui
    2010 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Proteomic Analysis of Enterococcus faecalis Cell Membrane Proteins under Alkaline Stress Conditions Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time APrf Peter Cathro
    2009 - 2014 Principal Supervisor Coupling Stress Responses and Growth Pathways in Haemophilus influenzae Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Changde Donald Jiang
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  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2016 - ongoing Chair South Australian/NT ASM Branch committee Australia
    2015 - ongoing Founder StaphPath 2017 conference Australia
    2015 - ongoing Member School of Biological Sciences Teaching and Learning Committee University of Adelaide Australia
    2015 - ongoing Member Masters of Biotechnology (Biomed. Sciences) Steering Committee University of Adelaide
    2012 - ongoing Member South Australian/NT ASM committee ASM Australia
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2015 - ongoing Member Australian Society for Antimicrobials Australia
    2014 - ongoing Member American Society for Microbiology United States
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2014 - ongoing Consulting Editor Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology
  • Offices Held

    Date Office Name Institution Country
    2016 - ongoing Chair SA/NT branch ASM ASM Australia
  • Position: Microbiology & Immunology Senior Lecturer
  • Phone: 83135396
  • Email: stephen.kidd@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 4362
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Molecular Life Sciences, floor 5
  • Room: 5 17
  • Org Unit: Molecular and Biomedical Science

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