Dr Caray A Walker

Senior Lecturer

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Life Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Microbiology

Research Supervision:Yes

FHEA

Caray is a Senior Lecturer in Microbiology and her primary research interests are in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and pathogenesis of important bacterial pathogens, in particular, zoonoses. She is also Head of the Microbiology Research Subgroup and Outreach Coordinator for the Biomedical Science course group.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrC_AWalker

ResearchGate profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Caray_Walker

ResearchGate laboratory profile: https://www.researchgate.net/lab/Caray-A-Walker-Lab

Background

As a postdoctoral research fellow at the Moredun Research Institute and The Royal Veterinary College, Caray’s research focused on vaccine development for ovine Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis and canine Mycoplasma. Having joined Anglia Ruskin University in 2013, Caray’s current research focuses on the surveillance of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria in the environment and the identification of mechanisms of resistance. In addition, she has a particular interest in environmental factors which affect gene expression (for example, the effect of iron on virulence gene expression). The exploitation of these mechanisms for use as novel vaccines and diagnostic test candidates are still a feature of Caray’s research.

Currently, Caray is continuing with the surveillance of AMR bacteria in the environment specifically wild birds. Microorganisms of interest include: Pseudomonas, Salmonella, Enterococcus, ESBL-producing E.coli and Acinetobacter baumannii. In particular Caray’s research group is characterising the genetic basis of AMR using whole genome sequencing in collaboration with the Quadram Institute Bioscience. Previous aspects of Caray’s work have involved work with zoonotic pathogens such as Streptococcus suis and Streptococcus equi subsp zooepidemicus.

Research interests

  • One Health
  • Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)
  • Mechanisms of AMR
  • AMR of pristine environments
  • Pathogenesis of bacterial diseases of animals, particularly zoonoses.
  • Modulation of gene expression by environmental factors such as iron.
  • Identification of putative virulence genes
  • Virulence gene mutagenesis
  • Infection models
  • Vaccinology

Areas of research supervision

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate – Dr Harisree Paramel Nair – Prevalence of multidrug resistance Enterobacteriaceae in wild birds in the South East, London and East of England Regions
  • PhD candidate 1st supervisor – Kruti Gupta
  • PhD candidate 2nd supervisor – Chisom Meludu
  • Caray welcomes enquires from prospective postgraduate students in the areas of her research interests

Teaching

BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences
Module Leader for General Microbiology
Module Leader for Microbial Pathogenicity
Contributes to Principles of Pathology
Contributes to Pharmacology and Translational Medicine

MSc Biomedical Science (Distance Learning)
Contributes to Biomedical Specialisms 1: Epidemiology and Pathogenesis
Contributes to Biomedical Specialisms 2: Diagnostics and Treatment

Qualifications

PgCert in Learning and Teaching (Higher Education), Anglia Ruskin University
PhD Molecular Bacteriology, University of Glasgow and Moredun Research Institute
MSc by Research in Veterinary Diagnostics, University of Edinburgh
BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth

Memberships, editorial boards

Member of the Microbiology Society
Member of the Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM)
Member of American Society of Microbiology (ASM)
Member of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC)

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • School of Life Sciences QR funded postdoctoral fellowship for Dr Harisree Paramel-Nair – August 2020 to August 2021 – £53,000
  • Research, Innovation and Development Office Undergraduate Summer Research Grant for Khadidja Hamze – July to August 2020 – In silico prediction of antimicrobial properties of putative bacteriocin produced by Bacillus spp. – £2000 (stipend)
  • Research, Innovation and Development Office Undergraduate Summer Research Grant for Helena Virag – July to August 2020 – Surveillance of extended Spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)–producing Escherichia coli in faecal samples from Racehorses – £2000 (stipend)
  • Microbiology Society Education and Outreach Grant – January 2020 to September 2020 – Superheroes vs Supervillains: The Battle Against Antimicrobial Resistance – £1,000 (postponed due to COVID-19)
  • School of Life Sciences QR funded project for PDRA Dr Harisree Paramel-Nair and RA Joana Rodrigues – January 2020 to May 2020 – Prevalence of multidrug resistance Enterobacteriaceae in wild birds in the South East, London and East of England Regions – £17,977
  • Anglia Ruskin University Returner Scheme’s Grant – January 2019 to March 2019 – £4000
  • Research, Innovation and Development Office Undergraduate Summer Research Grant for Larissa Moldovan – June-August 2019 – Virulence factors in environmental AMR Enterococci – £2000 (stipend)
  • Wellcome Trust Biomedical Vacation Scholarship for Georgia Loweth – June-August 2019 – Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci in wild bird faeces collected in recreational areas in Cambridge – £2500 (stipend)
  • Wellcome Trust Biomedical Vacation Scholarship for Hollie Allison – June-August 2017 – Prevalence of zoonotic bacterial pathogens in canine faeces collected from recreational areas in Cambridge – £2000 (stipend)
  • Research, Innovation and Development Office Undergraduate Summer Research Grant for Joana Rodrigues – June-August 2017 – Prevalence of fluoroquinolone-resistant Salmonellae in the river Cam and associated public health risks – £2000 (stipend)

Selected recent publications

  • Ipoutcha T., Tsarmpopoulos I., Talenton V., Gaspin C., Moisan A., Walker C.A., Brownlie J., Blanchard A., Thebault P., Sirand-Pugnet P., 2019. Multiple Origins and Specific Evolution of CRISPR/Cas9 Systems in Minimal Bacteria (Mollicutes). Frontiers in Microbiology, 10: 2701.
  • Mitchell J.A., Cardwell J.M., Leach H., Walker C.A., Le Poder S., Decaro N., Rusvai M., Egberink H., Rottier P., Fernandez M., Fragkiadaki E., Shields S., Brownlie J., 2017. European surveillance of emerging pathogens associated with canine infectious respiratory disease. Veterinary Microbiology, 212:31-38.
  • Priestnall, S.L. Mitchell, J.A. Walker, C.A, Erles, K. and Brownlie, J., 2014. New and Emerging Pathogens in Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease. Veterinary Pathology, Mar:51(2), pp.492-504.
  • Walker, C.A. Mannering, S.A. Shields, S. Blake D.P. and Brownlie J., 2013. Complete Genome Sequence of Mycoplasma cynos strain C142. Genome Announcements, Jan: 1(1). pii: e00196-12.
  • Walker, C.A. Donachie, W., Smith, D.G.E and Fontaine, M.C., 2011. Targeted allele-replacement mutagenesis of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 77(10), pp.3532-5.
  • May, J.P., Walker, C.A. Maskell, D.J. and Slater, J.D., 2004. Development of an in vivo Himar1 transposon mutagenesis system for use in Streptococcus equi subsp. equi. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 238, pp.401-409.

Recent presentations and conferences

  • Multidrug resistant Pseudomonas spp. isolated from bird faeces collected from recreational areas around the river Cam, in Cambridge - BSAC Antibiotic Resistance and Mechanisms Workshop for Researchers, Birmingham. November 2019
  • Multidrug resistance of uncommon Enterobacterales isolated from bird faeces - BSAC Antibiotic Resistance and Mechanisms Workshop for Researchers, Birmingham. November 2019
  • Prevalence of zoonotic bacterial pathogens in dog faeces collected from recreational areas in Cambridge - 71st AVTRW Annual Conference. September 2017