Abrudan, Monica I.
Monica uses computational methods to analyse a wide range of problems in life sciences. During her PhD, she modelled microbial communities to understand the ecological roles of toxin production in two species of bacteria: Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptomycetes. In her first postdoc role at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute she worked on the Mouse Genomes Project. In her current role at Imperial College she analyses collections of whole genome sequences of Staphilococcus aureus to understand emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance in this species.
I have started learning programming at the age of 14, and I have continuously improved my software development skills through high school and my BSc in Computer Science. Right after the completion of my bachelor degree, I joined Microsoft Copenhagen as a software engineer, but while working there I realised that I actually wanted to continue my studies and become a research scientist.
In 2010, I was awarded a BBSRC scholarship to pursue a PhD in Systems Biology at the University of Manchester, where I studied the mechanisms that maintain and promote microbial coexistence, with a particular focus on the role of secreted antimicrobial compounds like bacteriocins and antibiotics. My PhD integrated phenotypic and genotypic data from two bacterial groups (Streptococccus pneumoniae and wild isolates of Streptomyces) with computer simulations in order to explore conditions of coexistence and the evolution of microbial antagonism. Both of these studies entailed experimental components and significant computational aspects.
Starting from June 2015 until December 2016, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Bioinformatics working on the Mouse Genomes Project (MGP), in Dr. Thomas Keane’s group at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. The purpose of the MGP was to generate reference genomes and annotations for 16 strains of domestic and wild derived mice. My main work focused on testing the preliminary genome annotations, using as test data cDNA PacBio reads and matching short RNA-Seq reads coming from two tissues of three of the wild-derived strains.
In my current position in the Centre for Genomic Pathogen Surveillance at Imperial College London and Sanger Institute, I am studying the phenomenon of antimicrobial resistance in Staphylococcus aureus, based on two structured surveys performed across 25 countries in Europe, 5 years apart. Based on this data, I am making models to predict future outbreaks and to determine best sampling methods to inform future studies.
A Game Theoretical Approach to Microbial Coexistence
Advances in Dynamic and Evolutionary Games 2016;Springer International Publishing;267-282
Diverse ecological strategies are encoded by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteriocin-like peptides.
Genome biology and evolution 2016
Socially mediated induction and suppression of antibiosis during bacterial coexistence.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2015;112;35;11054-9
Killing as means of promoting biodiversity.
Biochemical Society transactions 2012;40;6;1512-6