Kelly Wyres

kwyres_headshotI am interested in understanding the evolution of bacteria through exploring their DNA. Most recently I have been using comparative genomics techniques to investigate the evolution and epidemiology of Klebsiella pneumoniae, a bacterial pathogen that causes large numbers of healthcare-associated infections and is associated with high rates of antimicrobial resistance. I am particularly interested in the evolutionary histories of closely related groups of strains, or ‘clones,’ that seem to be associated with distinct epidemiologies.

I joined the Holt Lab at the University of Melbourne as a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in September 2015. Previously I spent 2 ½ years as a Staff Researcher at IBM Research – Australia. I was a founding member of the IBM Research – Australia Genomics Team and later became the Team Lead. We were interested in exploring the use of computing for clinical and public health genomics. We collaborated with colleagues around the world and contributed to a number of projects, including a research project exploring the evolution of drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Before moving to Australia and joining IBM, I completed my Bachelor’s and Doctoral degrees at the University of Oxford, UK. During my DPhil (doctoral degree), I studied the genomic evolution of Streptococcus pneumoniae under the supervision of Dr Angela Bruggemann. I focused on the evolution of penicillin resistance and capsule switching, the latter of which has implications for the design of S. pneumoniae vaccines. Prior to starting my DPhil I worked with Dr Mike Bonsall, investigating the epidemiology of Bacillus thuringiensis and the interaction with its host, the Diamond Back Moth.


Find my details here or follow me on twitter @kelwyres.

Selected Publications*

*For a full list of my publications see my Google Scholar profile.

  • Wyres, K.L, Wick, R.R., Gorrie, C., Jenney, A., Follador, R., Thomson, N.R. and Holt, K.E. 2016. Identification of Klebsiella capsule synthesis loci from whole genome data. bioRxiv preprint.
  • Follador, R., Heinz, E., Wyres, K.L., Ellington, M.J., Kowarik, M., Holt, K.E. and Thomson, N.R. 2016. The diversity of Klebsiella pneumoniae surface polysaccharides. Microbial Genomics 2.
  • Cohen, K. A., El-Hay, T., Wyres, K.L., Weissbrod, O., Munsamy, V., Yanover, C., Aharonov, R., Shaham, O., Conway, T.C., Goldschmidt, Y., Bishai, W.R. and Pym, A.S. 2016. Paradoxical hypersusceptibility of drug-resistant M. tuberculosis to β-Lactam antibiotics. eBioMedicine 9, 170-179. Co-first authors.
  • Wyres, K.L., Gorrie, C., Edwards, D.J., Wertheim, H.F.L., Hsu, L.Y., Van Kinh, N., Zadoks, R., Baker, S. and Holt, K.E. Extensive capsule locus variation and large-scale genomic recombination within the Klebsiella pneumoniae clonal group 258. Genome Biology and Evolution 7(5), 1267-1279.
  • Wyres, K.L., Lambertsen, L.M., Croucher, N.J., McGee, L., von Gottberg, A., Liñares, J., Jacobs, M. R., Kristinsson, K.G., Beall, B.W., Klugman, K.P., Parkhill, J., Hakenbeck, H., Bentley, S.D. and Brueggemann, A.B. 2013. Pneumococcal capsular switching: An historical perspective. Journal of Infectious Disease 207:439-449.
  • Raymond, B., Wyres, K.L., Sheppard, S.K., Ellis, R.J. and Bonsall, M.B. 2010. Environmental factors determining the epidemiology and population genetic structure of the Bacillus cereus group in the field. PLoS Pathogens 6:5, e1000905. Co-first authors.