Hi I'm
Dr Janet Nale

  • Position: Lecturer
  • Location: Highlands and Islands
  • Expertise:
    • Agriculture, Crops and Soils
    • Food and Drink
    • Livestock and Fishing

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I am a Microbiologist based at the Inverness campus. I am passionate about developing alternative methods to control bacterial infections, especially those that are rapidly becoming harder to treat due to multidrug resistance. This is putting a huge constraint to healthcare and agriculture. I am collaborating with researchers around the globe to understand the changes that are occurring in relevant bacteria due to antibiotic treatment and natural selection to identify better ways to control them. To do this, I am exploring naturally occurring bacterial killers, also known as bacteriophages (phages) in the environment but are largely underexplored compared to antibiotics. For nearly two decades, I have studied how the right phages for specific bacteria can be identified and to determine their potential application to replace or supplement antibiotics in various infection models. I have also analysed phage genes as useful molecular tools to track and trace infections. My work would provide health practitioners, veterinarians, farmers and the general public with the valuable arsenals needed to understand and fight difficult-to-treat infections better and to save lives. I love teaching and have enjoyed passing knowledge, skills and expertise to young researchers in higher education both locally and abroad. I also love food and if I am not working, I would probably be somewhere cooking or enjoying a meal with friends and family. 

Areas of expertise and interests

  • Agriculture, Crops and Soils
  • Food and Drink
  • Livestock and Fishing

I'm currently working on

  • Therapeutic phage development and pre-clinical testing in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo 
  • Exploring prophage genes as molecular markers to study bacterial diversity, disease and evolution 
  • Diversity of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains in Scottish ruminants 
  • Evolution of Salmonella serovars in the UK
  • Phage therapy for STEC in food packaging 
  • Therapeutic phages for bovine mastitis  
  • Alternative methods to control postweaning diarrhoea in piglets 
  • Phage therapy to control bacterial infections in aquatic animals and wildlife  

My professional highlights

  • Lecturer in bacterial zoonoses 
  • Module leader in MRes Zoonoses and Comparative Infectious Disease Biology course  
  • Postgraduate project supervision 
  • Chair/co-chair for faculty meetings 
  • Member-HND/BSc Vet Biosciences development team 
  • Member Applied Microbiology International 
  • Member Microbiology Society 
  • Member Genetics Society

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