Stuart McEwen is a PhD student working in Heather Allison’s group in Liverpool, United Kingdom. The key focus of his PhD project revolves around understanding the adsorption process of ϕ24B and the implications on the potential bacterial host range. So far this has involved creating a specific library of isogenic mutants between mentoring undergraduate students and he is now looking forward to progressing onto actually discovering how this has led to (and will lead to more) host range jumps of Shiga toxin encoding phages.
Coming from a BSc in biochemistry with an interest in protein-protein interactions, the world of viruses of microbes seems a rather intimidating one to try to jump into at first. He hopes that being able to contribute to and interact with the readers of this blog will provide a more immersive experience for him, even if it feels like being thrown in at the deep end!
Outside of the lab, Stuart enjoys cycling, logic problems and making Firefly references whenever he can. He even reserves much-needed enthusiasm for use as an outreach volunteer in schools and the local museum.