Projects per year
Diplom, University of Marburg, Germany, 1994
- Personal Adviser to MBBS students
- MBBS admission interviews
I always had a keen interest in the interactions between human pathogenic bacteria and their (unfortunate) hosts. After studying Biology at the universities of Bonn and Marburg in Germany, I finished my undergraduate studies with a one year diploma thesis on the gut pathogen Listeria monocytogenes in the laboratory of Prof Werner Goebel at the University of Würzburg. I stayed on for my PhD thesis where I investigated how Listeria modulates the macrophage immune response with particular interest on antigen presentation. After completion of my PhD I went to the UK to study the interactions of Mycobacterium bovis BCG with human macrophages and investigate the characteristics of the Mycobacterium-containing phagosome. This work was performed in the group of Prof Douglas Young and financed by a Marie Curie Fellowship. The final part of the project was completed at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam where I was hosted in the lab of Prof Jacques Neefjes. In 2001, I returned to London (and the human gut) and took up work with Prof Alan Phillips at the Royal Free Medical School at UCL. As it turned out, this was the start of a long-lasting relationship with enteropathogenic (EPEC) and enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) and involved many productive collaborations with leading scientists in the area. Particular areas of research included the application of in vitro organ culture of human intestinal biopsies to study EPEC- and EHEC-mediated signal transduction in intestinal epithelial cells and the subsequent innate immune response. A successful Wellcome Trust project grant also led to the development and application of a microaerobic in vitro human intestinal infection model which enabled me to study the influence of oxygen on bacterial virulence gene expression. In 2010, I moved to Norwich where I took up a lecturer position at the Norwich Medical School, UEA and became a Research Leader within in Gut Health & Food Safety Programme at the Institute of Food Research. In 2012, I was awarded an MRC New Investigator Research Grant to study EHEC Shiga toxin translocation across the gut epithelium.
Lecturer, University of East Anglia, Oct 2010-present
Research Associate, University College London, 2001–2010
Research Associate, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, 1999-2001
Research Associate, Imperial College London, 1997-1999
- External PhD examiner (Edinburgh, Imperial College, York)
- External examiner of EuroMasters course Medical Microbiology, University of Surrey
- Member of the Microbiology Society
- Contributor of scientific images to the Science Photo Library
Key Research Interests
Escherichia coli is usually known as a harmless commensal bacterium in the human gut. However, several subsets of E. coli (pathotypes) have acquired genetic elements which make them pathogenic to humans. Research in our laboratory is focused on how certain E. coli pathotypes adhere to and hijack the cells in the human intestinal epithelium and thereby cause diarrhoea and severe systemic disease. In particular, we are interested in enteropathogenic (EPEC), enterohaemorrhagic (EHEC), and enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) which are major foodborne pathogens of worldwide importance: While EPEC is a major cause of infant diarrhoea in developing countries, EHEC is associated with bloody diarrhoea and severe kidney disease (Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome/HUS) in children in the developed world. EAEC represent a more heterogenous group responsible for persistent infantile diarrhoea in the developing world, traveller’s diarrhoea in adults, and enteric infections in HIV-patients.
Research in our laboratory aims at understanding bacteria-host interactions by using in vitro and ex vivo model systems that closely mimic the environment in the human gut. In collaboration with gastroenterologists at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, we are using in vitro organ culture of human intestinal biopsies to investigate bacterial colonisation and gene expression, host innate immune responses to infection and the use of probiotics as treatment strategies. In addition, we have established a vertical diffusion chamber (VDC) system which enables us to perform infections under microaerobic conditions similar to those in the human gut. This model allows us to understand the influence of oxygen on bacterial virulence gene expression and pathogenesis. In addition, we can culture oxygen-sensitive gut commensal bacteria in the VDC, and thereby investigate the cross-talk between intestinal epithelium, pathogenic E. coli and the gut microbiota.
Research Keywords & Postgraduate Research Student Supervision
Pathogenic E. coli (EAEC, EHEC, EPEC)
Virulence gene expression
Advanced infection models
Areas of Expertise
Bacterial infections of the human GI tract, esp. enterohaemorrhagic (EHEC) and enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC).
MBBS Immunology theme lead
Foundation year and year 1 SSS tutor in Microbiology & Immunology
Year 2 PBL tutor
Supervision of BSc, MSc and PhD research students
Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):
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- 2 Finished
Schuller, S. & Tran, S.
2/07/12 → 1/10/15
Development of a novel human intestinal model to elucidate the effect of anaerobic commensals on Escherichia coli infectionMcGrath, C. J., Laveckis, E., Bell, A., Crost, E., Juge, N. & Schüller, S., Apr 2022, In: Disease Models & Mechanisms. 15, 4, dmm049365.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile1 Downloads (Pure)
Determining Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli interactions with human intestinal epithelium in a microaerobic vertical diffusion chamberMcGrath, C. J. & Schuller, S., Mar 2021, Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli: Methods and Protocols. Springer, p. 273-283 11 p.
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter (peer-reviewed) › peer-review2 Citations (Scopus)
Schuller, S. & Bielaszewska, M., Mar 2021, Springer. 421 p.
Research output: Book/Report › Book
Identification and characterisation of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli subtypes associated with human diseaseEllis, S. J., Crossman, L. C., McGrath, C. J., Chattaway, M. A., Hölken, J. M., Brett, B., Bundy, L., Kay, G. L., Wain, J. & Schüller, S., 4 May 2020, In: Scientific Reports. 10, 1, 7475.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile8 Citations (Scopus)22 Downloads (Pure)
Systematic deletion of type III secretion system effectors in enteropathogenic E. coli unveils the role of non-LEE effectors in A/E lesion formationCepeda-Molero, M., Schuller, S., Frankel, G. & Fernández, L. Á., 30 Sep 2020, E. Coli Infections : Importance of Early Diagnosis and Efficient Treatment. Rodrigo, L. (ed.). (IntechOpen).
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter (peer-reviewed) › peer-reviewOpen Access