Dr. Clokie obtained a BSc in Biology (1st class hons) from the University of Dundee in 1996. An interest in ecology and molecular biology led her to an MSc at Edinburgh (1997) and a PhD at Leicester (2001) where she focused on designing molecular tools in order to establish the basis of plant biogeography. ” I then wanted to study a system which evolved more rapidly than plants, so in Jan 2001 I started to work on cyanobacteria and viruses with Prof Nick Mann at the University of Warwick. I stayed in this field for 6 years during which time I became fascinated at the extent to which phages impacted the evolution and ecology of their cyanobacterial hosts.”
After a fellowship at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, San Diego, Dr. Clokie started her own research group at the University of Leicester in 2006. “I have focused on the gut pathogen Clostridium difficile where I have isolated and sequenced novel phages in order to determine how they are shaping populations in natural settings and to establish how we might be able to better understand these phages in order to develop them for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes.”
Her work has focused on Clostridium difficile as is the major cause of bacterial infectious diahorrea in the western world. The pathogen is difficult to diagnose and to treat as there are complications associated with the only 3 antibiotics that are effective against it.