Dr Claire Turner

School of Biosciences

Research Fellow

  • 2017-present: Royal Society/ Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Research Fellow, University of Sheffield
  • 2017-present: Florey Institute Research Fellow, University of Sheffield
  • 2013-2016: Imperial College Junior Research Fellow
  • 2009-2013: Research Associate, National Centre for Infection Prevention & Management, Imperial College London
  • 2005-2009: PhD, Imperial College London.
Research interests

My research focus is on trying to understand the mechanisms behind upsurges in disease caused by the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes (also known as group A Streptococcus). Upsurges occur frequently and can be associated with specific genotypes.

I use a combination of whole genome sequencing, epidemiology, clinical analysis and phenotypic work to try and identify what makes strains successful at causing disease and become suddenly more abundant.

One of my particular interests is recombination-related genome remodelling, which we identified to be the driving force behind a very recent shift in the population of the S. pyogenes genotype emm89. A new variant of emm89 emerged from the population having undergone six regions of recombination within the core genome.

This recombination-related genome remodelling led to substantial phenotype changes, including loss of the hyaluronic acid capsule and increase of toxin expression, altering the way this genotype interacted with the host.

The emergent variant has now become the dominant form of emm89 in the UK and globally, causing a high level of disease. Understanding how recombination occurs and what the impact of recombination is on the bacterium are part of my research aims.


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Journal articles

All publications

Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers

  • Alam F, Bateman C, Turner C, Sriskandan S & Wiles S (2010) Bioluminescence imaging of a clinical isolate of Streptococcus pyogenes. LUMINESCENCE, Vol. 25(2) (pp 179-181) RIS download Bibtex download