Department: Pathobiology and Population Sciences

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Groups: Host-Pathogen Interactions and Vaccinology

I am a Senior Lecturer in Molecular Bacteriology and a member of the Livestock Production and Population health research programme. My research interests are mechanisms of transcriptional regulation in bacteria including the pathogenic bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. I am trying to understand how Mtb adapts in order to survive within the host for extended periods of time.

I completed a BSc in Genetics at the University of Swansea and a PhD in antibiotic resistance in E. coli at the University of Bristol. My PhD studies looked at the phenomenon of antibiotic tolerance - a process whereby bacterial growth is inhibited by the presence of the antibiotics but survival and regrowth is observed on removal. I began to start work as a Post-Doctoral Fellow with Mycobacterium tuberculosis in 2000 first at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and subsequently at The Royal Veterinary College. During my post-doctoral studies she developed an interest in gene regulation and continues to pursue this interest. I was appointed as a Lecturer in Microbiology in 2007.

I am interested in transcriptional regulation in Mycobacteria and uses gene expression analysis, DNA sequence analysis and binding studies in order to try to identify which genes are controlled by which transcriptional regulators and how signals from the host environment switch on particular gene networks. Through an understanding of these networks I am hoping to identify ways in which crucial groups of genes are involved in pathogenesis and how these can be interfered with to be switched off. 

Publications form the last 10 years

1. Ho NA, Dawes SS, Crowe AM, Casabon IE, Gao C, Kendall SL, Baker EN, Eltis LD, Lott JS: The structure of the transcriptional repressor Kstr in complex with CoA thioester cholesterol metabolites sheds light on the regulation of cholesterol catabolism in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The Journal of biological chemistry 2016 Feb 8. pii: jbc.M115.707760..

2. Mbugi EV, Katale BZ, Siame KK, Keyyu JD, Kendall SL, Dockrell HM, Streicher EM, Michel AL, Rweyemamu MM, Warren RM et al: Genetic diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolated from tuberculosis patients in the Serengeti ecosystem in Tanzania. Tuberculosis 2015, 95(2):170-178

3. Balhana RJ, Singla A, Sikder MH, Withers M, Kendall SL: Global analyses of TetR family transcriptional regulators in mycobacteria indicates conservation across species and diversity in regulated functions. BMC genomics 2015, 16:479.

4. Katale BZ, Mbugi EV, Botha L, Keyyu JD, Kendall S, Dockrell HM, Michel AL, Kazwala RR, Rweyemamu MM, van Helden P et al: Species diversity of non-tuberculous mycobacteria isolated from humans, livestock and wildlife in the Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania. BMC Infect Dis 2014, 14(1):616.

5. Evangelopoulos D, Gupta A, Lack NA, Maitra A, ten Bokum AM, Kendall S, Sim E, Bhakta S: Characterisation of a putative AraC transcriptional regulator from Mycobacterium smegmatis. Tuberculosis 2014, 94(6):664-671.

6. Dawes SS, Kendall SL, Baker EN, Lott JS: Purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic studies of KstR2 (ketosteroid regulatory protein) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Acta Crystallographica Section F-Structural Biology Communications 2014, 70:1643-1645.

7. Katale BZ, Mbugi EV, Karimuribo ED, Keyyu JD, Kendall S, Kibiki GS, Godfrey-Faussett P, Michel AL, Kazwala RR, van Helden P et al: Prevalence and risk factors for infection of bovine tuberculosis in indigenous cattle in the Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania. BMC Vet Res 2013, 9:267.

8. Balhana RJ, Swanston SN, Coade S, Withers M, Sikder MH, Stoker NG, Kendall SL: bkaR is a TetR-type repressor that controls an operon associated with branched-chain keto-acid metabolism in Mycobacteria. FEMS Microbiol Lett 2013.

9. Uhia I, Galan B, Kendall SL, Stoker NG, Garcia JL: Cholesterol metabolism in Mycobacterium smegmatis. Environmental Microbiology Reports 2012, 4(2):168-182.

10. Mbugi EV, Kayunze KA, Katale BZ, Kendall S, Good L, Kibik GS, Keyyu JD, Godfrey-Faussett P, Van Helden P, Matee MI: 'One Health' infectious diseases surveillance in Tanzania: are we all on board the same flight? Onderstepoort J Vet Res 2012, 79(2):500.

11. Mbugi EV, Katale BZ, Kendall S, Good L, Kibiki GS, Keyyu JD, Godfrey-Faussett P, Van Helden P, Matee MI: Tuberculosis cross-species transmission in Tanzania: towards a One-Health concept. Onderstepoort J Vet Res 2012, 79(2):501.

12. Katale BZ, Mbugi EV, Kendal S, Fyumagwa RD, Kibiki GS, Godfrey-Faussett P, Keyyu JD, Van Helden P, Matee MI: Bovine tuberculosis at the human-livestock-wildlife interface: is it a public health problem in Tanzania? A review. Onderstepoort J Vet Res 2012, 79(2):463.

13. Balhana R, Stoker NG, Sikder MH, Chauviac FX, Kendall SL: Rapid construction of mycobacterial mutagenesis vectors using ligation-independent cloning. J Microbiol Methods 2010, 83(1):34-41.

14. Kendall SL, Frita R: Construction of targeted mycobacterial mutants by homologous recombination. Methods Mol Biol 2009, 465:297-310.

15. Kendall SL, Burgess P, Balhana R, Withers M, Ten Bokum A, Lott JS, Gao C, Uhia-Castro I, Stoker NG: Cholesterol utilization in mycobacteria is controlled by two TetR-type transcriptional regulators: kstR and kstR2. Microbiology 2009, 156(Pt 5):1362-1371.

16. Sharpe ML, Gao C, Kendall SL, Baker EN, Lott JS: The structure and unusual protein chemistry of hypoxic response protein 1, a latency antigen and highly expressed member of the DosR regulon in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. J Mol Biol 2008, 383(4):822-836.

17. Senaratne RH, Sidders B, Sequeira P, Saunders G, Dunphy K, Marjanovic O, Reader JR, Lima P, Chan S, Kendall S et al: Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains disrupted in mce3 and mce4 operons are attenuated in mice. J Med Microbiol 2008, 57(Pt 2):164-170.

18. Sidders B, Withers M, Kendall SL, Bacon J, Waddell SJ, Hinds J, Golby P, Movahedzadeh F, Cox RA, Frita R et al: Quantification of global transcription patterns in prokaryotes using spotted microarrays. Genome Biol 2007, 8(12):R265.

19. Kendall SL, Withers M, Soffair CN, Moreland NJ, Gurcha S, Sidders B, Frita R, Ten Bokum A, Besra GS, Lott JS et al: A highly conserved transcriptional repressor controls a large regulon involved in lipid degradation in Mycobacterium smegmatis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Mol Microbiol 2007, 65(3):684-699.

20. Campbell DR, Chapman KE, Waldron KJ, Tottey S, Kendall S, Cavallaro G, Andreini C, Hinds J, Stoker NG, Robinson NJ et al: Mycobacterial cells have dual nickel-cobalt sensors: sequence relationships and metal sites of metal-responsive repressors are not congruent. The Journal of biological chemistry 2007, 282(44):32298-32310.

21. Bacon J, Dover LG, Hatch KA, Zhang Y, Gomes JM, Kendall S, Wernisch L, Stoker NG, Butcher PD, Besra GS et al: Lipid composition and transcriptional response of Mycobacterium tuberculosis grown under iron-limitation in continuous culture: identification of a novel wax ester. Microbiology 2007, 153(Pt 5):1435-1444.

I teach on the BSc BioVeterinary Science course, the Gateway to Veterinary Medicine course and the BVetMed course. I have also completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Veterinary Education and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). I supervise PhD students and undegraduate research projects.

I have participated in the RVC Masterclass sessions and worked with Secondary school students to help inspire an interest in Microbiology. I have also worked with Primary school children explaining what scientists and microbiologists do.  

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