• KY16 9TF

    United Kingdom

Accepting Postgraduate Research Students

PhD projects

Understanding host-pathogen interactions in multidrug resistant bacterial infections

Personal profile


Dr Jaclyn Pearson is a microbiologist by training. She is currently a lecturer in the Infection and Global Health Division within the School of Medicine.

Dr Pearson completed her PhD research in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne, Australia in 2013. She was awarded the Chancellor’s Prize and Dean’s Award for Excellence in a PhD Thesis in 2013, and in 2014 attained a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Early Career Fellowship (2015-2018). Here, she was appointed group leader for research on pathogenic E. coli within the Hartland Research Group at The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Melbourne, where she continued her research to decipher the mechanisms by which gut pathogens cause disease and how the human host fights bacterial infections. In 2017, she was recruited as an independent research group leader at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia.

Dr Pearson has been the recipient of numerous awards including the L'Oreal for Women in Science Fellowship (2017), the inaugural Australian Society for Microbiology’s Jim Pittard Early Career Researcher Award (2016), the Victorian Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research (2014), and The Victoria Fellowship (2010). In 2014, she was also shortlisted for the Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases Research along with her mentor Professor Elizabeth Hartland. Dr Pearson is the Director of Postgraduate Research within the School of Medicine and actively supports the professional development of early and mid-career researchers. She has had numerous invitations to deliver motivational talks to students and ECRs.

Research overview

The major focus of Dr Pearson’s research is understanding host-pathogen interactions mediated by highly drug resistant bacterial gut pathogens. Dr Pearson will interrogate these mechanisms using high-priority pathogens including E. coli, Salmonella enterica and Shigella spp. Her research has uncovered highly novel mechanisms of immune evasion by bacterial pathogens, which has provided fundamental insights into how a host combats infection. Her work has been published in internationally renowned journals such as Nature, Nature Microbiology and PLoS Pathogens.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Type III effectors of enteropathogenic E. coli, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE

4 Apr 200921 Sept 2013

Award Date: 20 Dec 2013

Bachelor of Science, Microbiology and Biochemistry, University of Western Australia

1 Mar 199710 Nov 2006

Award Date: 10 Nov 2006

External positions

Honorary Research Fellow, Hudson Institute of Medical Research

4 Jan 2024 → …


  • QR180 Immunology
  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • type III effectors
  • Innate immunity
  • mucosal immunity
  • Gram-negative pathogens
  • gut pathogen
  • bacterial pathogenesis