Dr Jim Manos

BSc(Hons 1st Class), PhD, MASM
Senior Lecturer in Infectious Diseases
Medicine (Immunology & Infectious Diseases), Central Clinical School

Member of the Charles Perkins Centre

Telephone +61 2 9351 8942
Fax +61 2 8627 1608


Biographical details

Dr Jim Manos has established his research career in the field of bacterial pathogenesis. He completed his PhD studies on the elucidation of the catalase protein of Helicobacter pylori, at the University of New South Wales in 1998 and subsequently carried out postdoctoral studies at the University of Maryland Medical School, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, on the flagellin switching mechanism of Proteus mirabilis. He returned to Australia in 2004 to study Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains infecting the cystic fibrosis (CF) lung in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology at Sydney University.

Appointed Senior Lecturer in Infectious Diseases in 2012 and as Head of the Bacterial Pathogens in Cystic Fibrosis research group in the Sydney Medical School, his work has led to elucidation of pathogenic mechanisms utilised by CF-specific strains of P. aeruginosa, through investigations of changes in transcriptomic expression and genomic composition of acute and chronic infection strains of P. aeruginosa. To this end he has refined and validated an artificial sputum medium (ASMDM) which mimics CF sputum and has enabled detection of novel differentially-expressed genes. One current focus of his group, which includes Dr Theerthankar Das, a 2015 recipient of the prestigious University of Sydney Fellowship, is the disruption of P. aeruginosa biofilms using the antioxidant glutathione. We have shown that glutathione coupled with DNase-I leads to significant reductions in biofilm size, mass and structure and subsequent enhanced antibiotic effectiveness. In-vivo trials of this treatment in a mouse model of lung infection are currently being planned. Dr Manos coordinates and teaches in the Postgraduate Studies in Infection and Immunity Program, the Bachelor of Medical Science BMED2404 unit, and teaches microbiology in the Sydney Medical and Dental degrees.

Dr Manos has 27 publications(890 citations and a h-index of 17) in high quality peer-reviewed journals including Infection and Immunity, Microbiology SGM, PLoS one and Frontiers in Microbiology, as well as three book chapters and two patents. He has received funding from the Australian CF Research Trust, National Health and Medical Research Council and University-based funding sources, including most recently a CDIP grant from the University of Sydney to expand the group’s findings on biofilm disruption methods

Research interests

Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) lung infection is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. P.aeruginosa usually spreads to patients from the environment, but epidemic clones spreading patient-to-patient are an emerging threat to CF patients internationally. Dr Manos is characterising the molecular basis for infectivity of the epidemic clones AES-1 and AES-2 that infect up to 45% of CF patients in eastern Australia, by identifying expression and presence virulence factors specific to AES-1. The findings will be used to develop novel therapeutics and infection control strategies. Data from Affymetrix PAO1 microarrays of AES-1, AES-2 and unique (non-epidemic) isolates grown both planktonically and as a biofilm have provided evidence that epidemic strains are ?primed? for biofilm development during planktonic growth. To further investigate CF-strain specific genes of P. aeruginosa, the CF research group at the University of Sydney, with Dr Manos as a chief investigator, sequenced the genome of AES-1 and in conjuction with the Victorian Bioinformatics Institute (Monash University) has developed a non-redundant array (PANarray) containing all genes from eight sequenced P. aeruginosa genomes. Dr Manos' lab is using this array, together with an artificial sputum medium (ASMDM) that mimics CF sputum, to investigate expression of CF-strain specific genes. Hislab created mutants in six genes significantly differentially expressed in ASMDM, and is investigating changes in virulence, infectivity and invasiveness in the mutants in the A549 epithelial cell line and the C57Bl/6J mouse model of lung infection (PloS one 2015). Current work with new Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Theerthankar Das, (recipient of a Sydney University Postdoctoral Fellowship) investigating the effect of pyocyanin and antioxidants on the structure of bacterial biofilms (AAC 2016).

Teaching and supervision

Dr Manos teachs the Infection and Immunity (INIM) postgraduate coursework unit of study "Advanced Medical Bacteriology" (INIM5011) and coordinates the Graduate studies in Infection and Immunity program. The emphasis of the program is to impart the latest information and familiarise students with latest technology used to understand the specific pathogens under investigation. This theme has been continued in the program of practical experiments that I developed to complement the lectures. He also coordinates the Bachelor of Medical Science unit BMED2404, teaches in the BMedSci undergraduate course Infectious Diseases (INFD3012), the INIM unit of study "Global Control of Infectious Diseases" (INIM5022), and coordinates and teaches the microbiology practical component of the Graduate Medical and Dental Programs.

In the media

Australian Financial Review,

May 31 2018 Page 16 Leadership article: "Sydney Uni in $3.5m venture for bacterial killer discovery"


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