Dr Andre Mu
Research Fellow (ESPOD)
As a microbial ecologist and computational biologist, Andre’s research aims to understand how the community of microbes in our guts impact human health. Andre has a particular interest in the mechanisms that underpin the role of commensal microorganisms in facilitating infections with antimicrobial resistant pathogens.
Andre’s current research focuses on the role of bacteriophages in modulating the functions of the gut microbiome for host health. He aims to leverage his expertise in microbiome sciences and isolate genomics to identify keystone phages impacting bacterial virulence.
He utilises a wide array of culture-dependent and -independent techniques, including multi-omics (metagenomics, transcriptomics, and metabolomics), bioinformatic analyses, and bacterial physiology assays (incl. molecular microbiology) to answer research questions relating to the human gut microbiome and infectious diseases.
Andre’s research to date informs gut microbiome engineering strategies towards translating observations from the bench to human-relevant therapeutic applications. For example, he led a project applying integrative omic analyses (neural networking) to link metabolites with their likely microbial hosts in the context of infection with vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium.
He also led a project characterising the microbiome of a University of California, San Diego Health patient undergoing adjunctive bacteriophage therapy to treat a persistent Staphylococcus aureus device infection associated with bacteraemia. Results from Andre’s proof-of-principal study supports the use of lytic bacteriophages as a microbiome-sparring approach to treat bacterial infections.
Andre initially trained in molecular microbiology, where he successfully led the experimental phase of Bioplatforms Australia’s multi-million-dollar Antibiotic Resistant Pathogens Initiative. This project developed a reference dataset enabling the identification of core targets common to phylogenetically diverse bacterial species causing sepsis (Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia species complex, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus pneumoniae) using high-throughput genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics.
His graduate research at the University of Melbourne with Assoc. Prof., John Moreau was in environmental sciences elucidating microbial interactions of a 1.5-km deep subsurface community using high-throughput sequencing technologies. During this time, Andre was awarded a competitive Fellowship through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to train in anaerobic microbiology with Prof., Gerrit Voordouw at the University of Calgary.
Andre is also the recipient of competitive research fellowships, including the Australian Government’s Endeavour Research Fellowship, the NOMIS Foundation Research Fellowship, and the EMBL-EBI & Sanger (ESPOD) Research Fellowship.
EMBL-EBI-Sanger Research Fellowship (Sanger Institute)
NOMIS Foundation Research Fellowship (Salk Institute)
Research Fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Endeavour Research Fellow at the University of California San Diego, USA
Postdoctoral researcher at The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne
PhD, University of Melbourne
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada International Exchange Scholarship (University of Calgary)
P.J. Adams Graduate Research Award (University of Melbourne)