My Research Vision
The main focus of my current research is the association of the bacterium, Propionibacterium acnes, with lower back pain and lumbar discitis. The collaborative team includes Coventry University, Aston University, University Hospital NHS Trust Birmingham, the Spine Centre Southern Denmark and Queens University Belfast. This exciting and novel research has demonstrated a possible causal link between localised bacterial colonisation (Propionibacterium acne) in excised disc tissue from patients with discitis. Work is currently ongoing to determine the bacterial virulence mechanisms which may facilitate localised lumbar disc infections and associated pain.
I am currently a lecturer in Biomolecular Sciences at Coventry University. My research interests include Clinical Microbiology, Molecular Microbiology, Antimicrobial Therapy and Environmental Microbiology. My recent projects include the association of Propionibacterium acnes with back pain and discitis, antimicrobial activity of natural compounds, the effect of antimicrobials upon bacterial virulence, molecular epidemiology of MRSA, bacterial population studies in wildfowl species and the effect of hydrocarbon based pollutants upon soil microbial diversity.
Science communication and community engagement is an important part of my academic career. During my PhD and post-doctoral research at Aston University (2004-2010) I participated in the ‘Microbiology in Schools’ scheme funded by the Wellcome Trust and played a key role in the establishment of the Postgraduate and Early Career Scientist Committee for the Society for Applied Microbiology. In addition whilst at Aston University I played an on screen role in an eight-part television series called Grime Scene Investigation broadcast on BBC3 in 2006. At Coventry University I have continued to participate in Schools Liaisons and A Level Nuffield Bursary summer placements. I have also secured external funding from the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy and the Society for Applied Microbiology, for undergraduate summer laboratory placements.
- Rollason, J., McDowell, A., Albert, H.B., Barnard, E., Worthington, T., Hilton, A.C., Vernallis, A., Patrick, S., Elliott, T., and Lambert, P. (2013) 'Genotypic and antimicrobial characterisation of Propionibacterium acnes isolates from surgically excised lumbar disc herniations'. BioMed Research International.
- Albert, H.B., Lambert, P., Rollason, J., Sorensen, J.S., Worthington, T., Pedersen, M.B., Nørgaard, H.S., Vernallis, A., Busch, F., Manniche, C., and Elliott, T. (2013) 'Does nuclear tissue infected with bacteria following disc herniations lead to Modic changes in the adjacent vertebrae?'. European Spine Journal 22 (4), 690-696.
- Gould, S.W., Cuschieri, P., Rollason, J., Hilton, A.C., Easmon, S., and Fielder, M.D. (2010) 'The need for continued monitoring of antibiotic resistance patterns in clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus from London and Malta'. Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials 9, 20.
- Gould, S.W., Rollason, J., Hilton, A.C., Cuschieri, P., McAuliffe, L., Easmon, S.L., and Fielder, M.D. (2008) 'UK epidemic strains of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in clinical samples from Malta'. Journal of Medical Microbiology 57 (11), 1394-1398.
- Rollason, J., Bastin, L., Hilton, A.C., Pillay, D.G., Worthington, T., McKeon, C., De, P., Burrows, K., and Lambert, P.A. (2008) 'Epidemiology of community-acquired meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus obtained from the UK West Midlands region'. Journal of Hospital Infection 70 (4), 314-320.
- Bastin, L., Rollason, J., Hilton, A., Pillay, D., Corcoran, C., Elgy, J., Lambert, P., Worthington, T., De, P., and Burrows, K. (2007) 'Spatial aspects of MRSA epidemiology: a case study using stochastic simulation, kernel estimation and SaTScan'. International Journal of Geographical Information Science 21, 811-835.
- Small, H., Casey, A.L., Elliott, T.S., Rollason, J., Hilton, A.C., and Ball, S. (2007) 'The oral cavity--an overlooked site for MRSA screening and subsequent decolonisation therapy?'. Journal of Infection 55 (4), 378-379.
- Caddick, J.M., Hilton, A.C., Rollason, J., Lambert, P.A., Worthington, T., and Elliott, T.S. (2005) 'Molecular analysis of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus reveals an absence of plasmid DNA in multidrug-resistant isolates'. FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology 44, 297-302.
- Effect of antimicrobials upon bacterial biofilm formation and virulence gene expression: In collaboration with Coventry University (final year projects), Aston University and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.
- Antimicrobial activity of natural compounds: The role and mechanisms of action of artemisinin analogues and artemisia essential oil- BSAC Vacation Scholarship and Coventry University.
- Bacterial population studies in wildfowl species: Coventry University (final year projects) and Aston University.
- The effect of hydrocarbon based pollutants upon soil microbial diversity: Coventry University (MSc project).