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Prof. T. J. Foster - Research Page

Research Activities – Professor J. Geoghegan


Joan Geoghegan, B.A., Ph.D.


  • Research Interests

Our research focuses on    Staphylococcus aureus  , an important cause of invasive infection in humans. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus  (MRSA) causes significant morbidity and mortality and new therapeutic approaches are urgently needed.

Our group are studying the bacterial factors that allow  S. aureus  to successfully colonise and infect the human host. Our approach involves the molecular analysis of virulence-associated proteins of staphylococci and characterisation of factors influencing protein secretion and processing, antibiotic resistance, survival in neutrophils and macrophages and bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation.

One aim of our work is to identify new targets for the treatment and prevention of  S. aureus  infection.

  • Recent Publications

Formosa-Dague C, Speziale P, Foster TJ, Geoghegan JA * ,Dufrêne YF* (2016) Zinc-dependent mechanical properties of  Staphylococcus aureus  biofilm-forming surface protein SasG.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 113(2):410-5.

Pietrocola G, Nobile G, Gianotti V, Zapotoczna M, Foster TJ, Geoghegan JA * and Speziale P * (2016) Molecular interactions of human plasminogen with FnBPB, a fibrinogen/fibronectin-binding protein from Staphylococcus aureus . Journal of Biological Chemistry. 291(35):18148-62.

Ganesh VK #, Liang X#, Geoghegan JA#, Cohen ALV, Venugopalan N, Foster TJ, Hook M (2016) Lessons from the crystal structure of the Staphylococcus aureus surface protein clumping factor A in complex with tefibazumab, an inhibiting monoclonal antibody. EBioMedicine (

Formosa-Dague C, Fu ZH, Feuillie C, Derclaye S, Foster TJ, Geoghegan JA*, Dufrene YF* (2016) Forces between Staphylococcus aureus and human skin. NanoScale Horizons. 1:298-303.

O'Halloran DP, Wynne K, Geoghegan JA. (2015) Protein A is released into the    Staphylococcus aureus   culture supernatant with an unprocessed sorting signal. Infection and Immunity.  83(4):1598-609.

  • Research Personnel

Research Fellow:
Dr Marta Zapotoczna

Postgraduate Researchers:  
Ms Leanne Hays  
Ms Joana Carvalho
Mr Keenan Lacey (co-supervisor)
Ms Aisling Towell

  • Financial support
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Last updated 15 December 2016 by Microbiology (Email).