Professor Ruth Massey has a B.A. in Natural Sciences and a Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology from Trinity College Dublin. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the UK at both the University of Oxford and Bath, and it was in Oxford where her interest in Gram positive bacterial pathogen began. Ruth’s first independent position was in the Zoology Dept. in Oxford, where Wellcome Trust funding allowed her to set up her first lab, which subsequently moved to Bath in 2007. In 2017 Ruth moved to the University of Bristol and in 2019 was awarded a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award and promoted to Professor of Microbial Pathogenicity. In 2021 Ruth became the SALI Professor for Microbiome and Health Sciences at UCC.
The main focus of the Massey Group is the study of infectious diseases which are among the greatest causes of morbidity and mortality globally. With a dwindling pool of effective antibiotics, pharmaceutical companies shutting down their antibiotic development facilities, and many pathogens remaining recalcitrant to effective vaccine development, new and innovative approaches to infection management and treatment regimens are desperately needed. To address this the main focus of this group is to develop and apply innovative approaches to study microbial pathogenicity and how this intersects with antibiotic resistance, using genome sequence data and functional genomics approaches.
Research theme: Microbes to Molecules
SDGs: SDG3: Good Health and Wellbeing
Research key words: Antimicrobial resistance, bacterial pathogens, Staphylococccus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, functional genomics, GWAS, pathogenesis and virulence mechanisms.