A chat with Laura J. V. Piddock

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of Nature Reviews Microbiology and to give our readers a glimpse behind the curtains, we asked a few of our past authors about their views on microbiology, the journal and their experiences of working with the journal.
A chat with Laura J. V. Piddock

In your opinion, what have been the most noteworthy advances in the field of microbiology research in the past 15 years? 

Noteworthy advances:  Increased understanding of the mechanisms and drivers of AMR.

Looking forward, what do you expect to be the most exciting advances in the next few years?

(1) Identifying those mechanisms that confer the most prevalent clinically relevant resistance AND using this information to develop a rapid diagnostic test that will identify resistance in clinical isolates so influencing treatment options. 

(2) Distilling and translating the information from numerous high impacts journal publications about combinations of drugs so that one/some can be used in patients. This is very important as it could provide an achievable short-term solution until new drugs become available. 

(3) New antimicrobials with novel modes of action that have a narrow spectrum of activity, low resistance potential and are likely to disturb the host microbiome.

Do you have a favourite article that was published in Nature Reviews Microbiology, and if so, can you tell us why?

This is very hard as I use several regularly when I teach undergraduates, supporting material for new researchers joining my team and when I need to update my knowledge in an area that I’m not expert. So, here are several – there are many more and this list is not in order of priority!

Microbiological effects of sublethal levels of antibiotics
Dan I. Andersson & Diarmaid Hughes
Nature Reviews Microbiology 12, 465–478 (2014)

Antibiotic resistance and its cost: is it possible to reverse resistance?
Dan I. Andersson & Diarmaid Hughes
Nature Reviews Microbiology 8, 260–271 (2010)

Salmonellae interplay with host cells
Andrea Haraga, Maikke B. Ohlson & Samuel I. Miller
Nature Reviews Microbiology 6, 53–66 (2008)

Campylobacter jejuni: molecular biology and pathogenesis
Kathryn T. Young, Lindsay M. Davis & Victor J. DiRita
Nature Reviews Microbiology 5, 665–679 (2007)

Mechanisms of, and barriers to, horizontal gene transfer between bacteria
Christopher M. Thomas & Kaare M. Nielsen
Nature Reviews Microbiology 3, 711–721 (2005)

Integrative and conjugative elements: mosaic mobile genetic elements enablingdynamic lateral gene flow
Rachel A. F. Wozniak & Matthew K. Waldor
Nature Reviews Microbiology 8, 552–563 (2010)

Streptococcus pneumoniae: transmission, colonization and invasion
Jeffrey N. Weiser, Daniela M. Ferreira & James C. Paton
Nature Reviews Microbiology 16, 355–367 (2018)

You have written for Nature Reviews Microbiology in the past, can you tell us about the experience?

This has been a very straightforward experience with excellent support from the editors. The feedback provided has been very constructive and re-drawn figures are beautiful.

Read the Reviews by Laura J. V. Piddock and colleagues here:

Molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance
Jessica M. A. Blair, Mark A. Webber, Alison J. Baylay, David O. Ogbolu & Laura J. V. Piddock
Nature Reviews Microbiology 13, 42–51 (2015)

Multidrug efflux pumps: structure, function and regulation
Dijun Du, Xuan Wang-Kan, Arthur Neuberger, Hendrik W. van Veen, Klaas M. Pos, Laura J. V. Piddock & Ben F. Luisi
Nature Reviews Microbiology 16, 523–539 (2018)

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