Adrian Cazares

Dr Adrián Cazares

BSc MSc PhD

Adrian is a microbiologist and genomicist interested in the evolution of bacterial pathogens and their mobile genetic elements. He is an ESPOD Research Fellow at EMBL-EBI and the Sanger Institute and a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College.

Adrian Cazares

Adrian received his PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology in 2017 from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV), Mexico, where he studied genomics of bacteriophages (viruses infecting bacteria). During his PhD studies, Adrian obtained two mobility grants to support his training in bioinformatics and microbial genomics in Canada with Professor Gabriel Moreno-Hagelsieb (Wilfrid Laurier University) and the USA with Professor Rob Edwards (San Diego State University). He completed an MSc Genetics and Molecular Biology degree at CINVESTAV and a BSc Biology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), working on bacteriophages' molecular characterisation under the supervision of Professor Gabriel Guarneros.

In 2017, Adrian was awarded two Mexican Fellowships (CONACyT and SECTEI) to conduct postdoctoral research with Professor Craig Winstanley at the Institute of Infection and Global Health of the University of Liverpool, where he researched bacteriophages and plasmids of the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. He then moved to the Wellcome Genome Campus, Cambridge, in 2020 to take a joint appointment as a Research Fellow in the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the Sanger Institute, through a prestigious ESPOD Fellowship. Adrian is part of the Zamin Iqbal and Nick Thomson groups and his main project combines state-of-the-art experimental and computational approaches to investigate the evolution of plasmids and antibiotics resistance. Adrian was elected as a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College in 2021.

Currently, Adrian is a member of the Microbiology Society and the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME). Adrian has long experience teaching, tutoring and co-supervising dissertations on microbiology and genomics.

Adrian is fascinated by how bacteria evolve, and the genomic mechanisms underlying this process. In particular, he interested in how Mobile Genetic Elements (MGE) capable of "jumping" within and between genomes shape bacterial evolution. MGE such as bacteriophages, transposons, and plasmids play a critical role in the microbial world by facilitating gene transfer amongst bacteria and accelerating their adaptation to different environments, including infections. Since MGE are frequently involved in transferring virulence and antibiotic resistance genes, they are pivotal in pathogens evolution.

Adrian's current research project uses experimental and computational approaches to uncover how plasmids have evolved to become vectors of antibiotic resistance genes. His work combines state-of-the-art genomics, bioinformatics and synthetic biology methods to characterise how plasmids have changed over time to collect and transfer resistance genes efficiently. Disclosing such changes is key to improve genomic surveillance and identify molecular mechanisms driving the spread of antibiotics resistance in nature and the clinic. As plasmids and bacteriophages are vastly diverse, much of Adrian's research involves discovering novel MGE in various clinical and natural environments and new ways in which MGE impact bacterial genomes.

Adrian's research is highly collaborative, and he maintains links with several research groups interested in exploring the dynamics of bacterial and MGE genomes and the mechanisms by which pathogens evolve.

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