Associate Professor Mohammad Katouli | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Associate Professor Mohammad Katouli

PhD United Kingdom, BSc Tehran, Iran

  • Associate Professor, Microbial Ecology
+61 7 5430 2845
Office location
Sunshine Coast
Mohammad Katouli

Associate Professor Mohammad Katouli has years of teaching and research experience in the area of medical microbiology, infectious disease and pathogenesis of bacteria both nationally and internationally. Following his PhD in 1980 and post-doc experience in UK, he worked for three years at the Research and Development Department of the D.P Pharmaceuticals. In 1985, he took the position of the Head of Microbiology Department at the Pasteur Institute in Tehran where he conducted a number of national research projects on the aetiology of diarrheal diseases and the prevalence of antibiotic resistance genes in hospitals and the community.

From 1988, he started working at the Microbiology and Tumorbiology Centre of the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden as a senior research fellow where he worked with many European scientists on several projects including “Pathogenesis of E.coli sepsis and bacterial translocation”, “Changes in the intestinal flora of sarcoma patients undergoing cytostatic therapy”, “Characterization of the gut microbiota after inflammation of the intestinal reservoir in paucities patients” and “Virulence properties of E. coli strains associated with ulcerative colitis”. He was also involved in the development of a microplate-based automated biochemical fingerprinting method for epidemiological and ecological investigation of pathogenic bacteria in communities, hospital settings and surface waters. This typing system has been commercialised and is used in many epidemiological and ecological studies such as microbial source tracking.

In 1998, Professor Katouli took up a teaching and research position at USC and established the Microbiology and Biotechnology program as well as courses in Medical Microbiology, Communicable diseases and epidemiology, Microbial Pathogenesis and Pharmaceutical and Food Microbiology.

Since 1998 he has been a member of the Australian Society for Microbiology and a member of the Queensland branch of the ASM and the chair of the committee between 2014-2016. Between 2014 and 2017 he acted as the deputy Program leader of the Smart Water Research Centre and has conducted several research projects on microbial source tracking and microbial quality of surface waters.

A/Professor Katouli has been collaborating with many national and international scientists and research institutes and has supervised more than 45 Honours and 39 PhD and Master Students to completion during his scientific career. His work entitled “Bulking fibre prevents translocation to mesenteric lymph nodes of an efficiently translocating E. coli strain in rats” published in "Clinical Nutrition" received the 1st prize for the best original article published in clinical nutrition at the 21st Congress of the European Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.

A/Professor Katouli has more than 169 peer-reviewed journal articles, reviews, book chapters and 87 conference refereed proceedings in the areas of epidemiology of infectious diseases and pathogenesis of bacteria as related to humans, animals and environmental health as well as microbial source tracking.

Research grants

Project Name Funding Body
Interaction of Candida albicans with an improved gut epithelial cell line model in the presence of human microbiota and probiotics Industry (Servatus Biopharmaceuticals)
Optimisation of a gut epithelial cell culture model and the efficacy of the selected probiotic strains against E. coli strains involved in pathogenesis of IBD Industry (Servatus Biopharmaceuticals)
Application of Next-Generation Sequencing for detection of human and animal fecal pollution in surface waters SEQ Water and Water Australia
Toolbox development for Microbial Source Tracking in Water WQRA

Hospital wastewater: Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria from Hospital Waste waters

Urban Water Security Alliance
Alleviation of Summer Gut Syndrome (SGS) in Tasmanian Atlantic Salmon CRC Seafood
Biological control of human pathogenic E. coli infestation in post-harvest strawberries Horticulture Australia Ltd

Research areas

  • Molecular pathogenesis of septicaemic and uropathogenic E. coli and the host response to infection
  • Interaction of microbial biotherapeutic with the human gut epithelium and the immune response
  • Inhibitory effect of probiotics on bacterial translocation
  • Prevalence and persistence of antibiotic resistance genes in hospital, sewage and surface waters
  • Microbial source tracking and the impact of faecal pollution of surface waters on human health
  • Population structure of gut E. coli and their role in causing urinary tract infection

Potential Research Projects for HDR and Honours Students

  1. Role of the type 6 secretion system in pathogenesis of extra-intestinal E. coli
  2. The efficacy of a cocktail of probiotics to inhibit ESKAPE pathogens in an improved co-culture of Caco-2:HT29-MTX to inhibit
  3. The role of adhesive-invasive E. coli in pathogenesis of IBD 

Teaching areas

  • Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
  • Microbial Pathogenesis
  • Food Microbiology

A/Prof Katouli's expertise and research area include interaction of microbial biotherapeutics with gut epithelia and the molecular pathogenesis of bacterial translocation and sepsis, antibiotic resistance genes in hospital, pollution of surface waters on human health.

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