Research on healthcare infections boosted by award

A Swansea University medical researcher, whose work can help tackle healthcare infections like MRSA and C difficile, has been awarded a travel scholarship by the Welsh Livery Guild, which will help fund him to present his research at a major international scientific conference.

Leonardos Mageiros works in the Swansea University Medical School as part of the CLIMB team (Cloud Infrastructure Microbiology Bioinformatics).   CLIMB is a supercomputer which can analyse vast amounts of data from biological samples: in fact it’s the biggest microbial bioinformatics research system in the world.

Leonardos and his colleagues use CLIMB to analyse the genetic make-up of bacteria.  They have found genes that have never been identified before and can use the data to work out which genes in bacteria may be particularly likely to cause an infection.

Healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) can develop either as a direct result of healthcare interventions such as medical or surgical treatment, or from being in contact with a healthcare setting. They pose a serious risk to patients, staff and visitors. As a result, infection prevention and control is a key priority for the NHS.

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Picture:  Leonardos Mageiros (left) receiving his award from Adrian Warner of the Welsh Livery Guild

Leonardos’ research has now been given a big boost by the Welsh Livery Guild, which has awarded him a travel scholarship of £1000.

The Guild is “The Honourable Society for the Arts, Science and Technology”, and one of its aims is to “promote education, science, technology and the arts”.

The funding will enable Leonardos to speak at a major international conference of microbiologists, which brings together the world’s leading researchers in this field.  

MRSA bacteria‌Picture:  MRSA bacterium

Leonardos Mageiros said:

"I am delighted to receive this award from the Welsh Livery Guild.

The conference will be an opportunity to present the know-how we have in Swansea in microbial genomes.  It’s a chance to attract potential collaborators.  We want to attract as many scientists as possible to work together to solve problems such as healthcare-associated infections.

Our research really has the potential to improve health.  For example, we can use it to develop tests which people have before surgery, so we can identify more easily patients who are at higher risk of infection.

Adrian Warner from the Welsh Livery Guild said:

“The aim is to encourage students to progress and to support them with a specific project.  The Welsh Livery Guild raises the money through dinners and other events. 

Leonardos’ research is essential, and his enthusiasm for his subject is clear.  We are pleased to be able to support him to be able to attend this international scientific conference”