Remodelling PCR as a tool for microbial diagnostics with Prof Stephen Bustin

Join us on Teams on 10 May at 1pm
Stephen Bustin

Join ARU's Medical Technology Research Centre (MTRC) in Chelmsford or online for a seminar from Prof Stephen Bustin on a potential paradigm shift in our approach to detecting and classifying microbial pathogens.

The real time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) is firmly established as the method of choice for laboratory-based detection of microbial agents in the areas of clinical, veterinary and agricultural diagnostics and food safety.

The main issues preventing its use for point of care (POC) diagnostics are (i) sample preparation requirements, (ii) assay run times, especially when targeting RNA viruses and (iii) temperature cycling protocol-dependent high energy consumption.

Prof Bustin and colleagues have developed new assay design guidelines and protocols for both laboratory-based and POC applications. Their practical implementation has the potential to lead to a paradigm shift in our approach to detecting and classifying microbial pathogens in preparation for the inevitable next pandemic.

Prof Bustin obtained his PhD in Molecular Genetics from Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland. He was Professor of Molecular Science at Queen Mary, University of London before moving to AEU in 2012, where he is currently Professor of Molecular Medicine. His research interests centre around developing novel approaches for the early diagnosis of infectious diseases.

He has authored numerous papers, review articles and book chapters aimed at improving the reproducibility and robustness of molecular methods, especially those based on the use of the (PCR) and has presented hundreds of talks and workshops worldwide on this subject.

He has published three books, the A-Z of quantitative PCR (2004), universally known as the “qPCR bible”, The PCR Revolution (2011), and PCR Technology (2013). He led an international consortium developing the MIQE guidelines for the use and reporting of real-time (2009) and digital PCR (2013). He is Editor-in Chief (Gene Expression), International Journal of Molecular Sciences and is a member of the editorial boards of several peer-reviewed journals.

Prof Bustin was an expert witness advising the UK High Court and the US Department of Justice on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology in the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine - autism class action.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, he published several papers highlighting the importance of correct testing for SARS-CoV-2 and developed a novel five-plex assay targeting the virus. He is currently developing a sub five-minute combined extraction, RT and PCR test for point-of-care diagnosis.

Just turn up at SAL 004 on our Chelmsford campus or join the Teams meeting at the time the event starts.

For more information, email [email protected]

Join us on Teams on 10 May at 1pm