Dr Jon Cuccui
BSc MSc PhD
I joined the LSHTM in 2002 as a research assistant and registered as a Ph.D. student in Professor Brendan Wren's laboratory carrying out signature tagged mutagenesis on Burkholderia pseudomallei. My first Post Doc involved developing and utilising a novel glycoengineering method termed protein glycan coupling technology using Francisella tularensis and B. pseudomallei as the test organisms. My current fellowship revolves around defining the limitations of bacterial glycosylation systems and how to overcome these for potential exploitation.
My interests are not only on the application and development of novel vaccine strategies and technologies but also on the biological reasons why bacteria carry varied glycosylation systems.
Ph.D. supervisor and Medical Microbiology M.Sc. lecturer, tutor, project supervisor, examiner and exam board member.
My aim is to enhance our understanding of bacterial glycosylation systems and to also identify areas that may be exploited for glycoengineering purposes. I was part of a team who developed a first generation glycoconjugate vaccine against Francisella tularensis using the O-antigen repeat unit from the organism as the glycan component. I was also involved in the completion of a project attempting to characterise the capsular polysaccharide of Burkholderia pseudomallei. I maintain an interest on the work being carried out within the Wren laboratory to further understand selected mutants identified during my PhD entitled 'The development of a refined signature tagged mutagenesis strategy for the identification of novel virulence determinants and vaccine candidates in Burkholderia pseudomallei.' Recently, I have also been involved in a Transposon Directed Insertion Site sequencing project that aimed to enhance our understanding of B. pseudomallei.
Currently I am funded by a Wellcome Trust/LSHTM fellowship to identify and overcome glycoengineering bottlenecks in order to expand the capabilties of a technique termed protein glycan coupling technology. I am also studying the N-linked glycosylation system in the porcine pathogen A. pleuropneumoniae and attempting to unravel its biological function and potential application. More recently I was a successful co-applicant on a BBSRC LoLa grant aimed at developing novel vaccines for the Poultry and ruminant market.