Principal Investigator, BARNARDS

Prof Timothy Walsh, DScProf Timothy Walsh, DSc

Prof Timothy Walsh, DSc. Head of Microbiology Research for the School of Medicine, Dean of International Research for the Institute of Infection and Immunity, Cardiff University.

Professor Timothy Walsh has been studying antibiotic resistant (AMR) mechanisms for over 20 years and now leads an active international research group consisting of over 140 people in over 12 different low-middle income countries (LMIC’s) studying the impact of AMR. Timothy Walsh has been working at Cardiff University since 2006.

Professor Walsh’s research is focused on unusual mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance and how they are mobilised into the clinical sector and spread once established. He is also interested in assessing the burden of AMR in low-middle income countries, particularly vulnerable populations. He has published and presented over 400 papers particularly on the characterization of β-lactamases within Gram-negative bacteria, in journals such as Clinical Microbiological Reviews, Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews, Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Nature, Nature Microbiology, Lancet and Lancet Infectious Diseases. His research has been funded by the, EC, Wellcome Trust, European Union, British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, BBSRC, MRC and the Gates Foundation.

After obtaining a BSc in Applied Laboratory Science and a Post Graduate Diploma of Immunology and Microbiology at the University of Tasmania in Australia, Professor Walsh earned his PhD in Molecular Microbiology at the University of Bristol. He currently holds an honorary Chair at China Agricultural University and holds several advisory positions including Chinese CDC and CAU, ECDC, WHO, BIRDY, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the Fleming Fund.

Professor Walsh is the principal investigator of BARNARDS and DETER-XDRE-CHINA, a £1.5M study examining the spread and burden of AMR in public health sectors and hospitals in 11 Chinese Provinces. Recently, Professor Walsh has been awarded an MRC grant to establish an AMR surveillance system throughout Vietnam in collaboration with Oxford University and the Wellcome Trust Center in Hanoi. In addition to BARNARDS, he also has AMR studies in Karachi and Peshawar and has collaborative studies with MSF in Jijawa (Nigeria), Niger (Clean Kids Study) and has facilitated the design and construction of the MSF Microbiology/AMR lab in Jordan and Syria. His lab provides molecular support for the Russian Federation Reference Laboratory in AMR surveillance that covers Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and for MSF for Syrian refugees. He also has clinical studies examining the burden of AMR in the community and hospitals in São Paulo (Brazil), Chang Mai (Thailand) and Tanta (Egypt).

Project Manager, BARNARDS

Rebecca Milton, BARNARDS

Rebecca Milton. Project Manager for BARNARDS, Institute of Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine, Cardiff University.

In 2012 Rebecca Milton graduated with BSc first class honours in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Public Health from the University of Glamorgan. In 2013, Rebecca graduated from Cardiff University with a Masters in Public Health (MPH). Rebecca started working on a European Social Funded research project in 2004 and has since worked with numerous funders and managed a number of research grants. Rebecca is BARNARDS’ project manager and has been working with Professor Walsh and his team since 2010, where she started working on a NISCHR funded project ‘Microbiology and Infection Translational Research Group’ (MITReG), one of the many successful outcomes of MITReG was BARNARDS and was therefore involved in BARNARDS from the outset. Rebecca’s role is diverse and all encompassing, including all aspect of project coordination and management, Rebecca is the key contact for all BARNARDS’ partners.

Lead Scientist, BARNARDS

Dr Maria J Carvalho, PhD

Dr Maria J Carvalho, PhD. Research Associate for the Institute of Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine, Cardiff University.

After earning her degree in Biology-Geology (UTAD, Portugal) in 2002, Maria was involved in studies tackling antibiotic resistance mechanisms in Gram-negative bacteria from environmental sources in UTAD and in the Faculty of Pharmacy of Lisbon, Portugal. Subsequently, in 2010, Maria acquired her PhD at the University of Aveiro, Portugal with her thesis: “Diversity of Aeromonas species from different environments in Portugal”. In 2012, she was awarded grant funding from the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme – Leonardo Da Vinci for Post-doctoral studies at Cardiff University under the supervision of Professor Tim Walsh. Consequently, she was appointed as research associate of Cardiff University for the European project R-GNOSIS and later, as lead scientist for BARNARDS.


She is mostly interested in the study of antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, their spread and epidemiology, not only by traditional molecular techniques, but also from a genomics approach; she has a special enthusiasm for bioinformatics and the way biological data can be analysed, allowing the comparison of genetic data on a large scale.

Her role in BARNARDS involves leading and supervising all research related activities, from designing, developing and implementing lab procedures and techniques, training technicians, researchers and visitors, and assisting BARNARDS partners in with laboratory procedures and research. She will be performing bioinformatics analysis on the data obtained by whole genome sequencing.

Interim Research Associate, BARNARDS

Dr Kirsty Sands, PhD

Dr Kirsty Sands, PhD. Research Associate for the Institute of Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine, Cardiff University.

Kirsty graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Sunderland in 2011. Kirsty went on to complete her portfolio of registration as a Biomedical Scientist in the microbiology department in the Freeman Hospital Newcastle. In 2016, Kirsty completed her PhD at Cardiff University in biofilm communities associated with mechanical ventilation, whilst also working as an NHS biomedical scientist in the diagnostics department.

Kirsty joined the BARNARDS team at Cardiff in June 2016, overseeing the laboratory work whilst Maria was on maternity leave. Kirsty’s role primarily focused on whole-genome sequencing of sepsis causing bacteria and downstream bioinformatics analysis. Kirsty will be moving to the DETER-XDRE CHINA project shortly as the Lead Research Associate for the project, involving mechanistic research of the mcr-1 gene.

Research Technician, BARNARDS

Edward Portal, Research Technician for the Institute of Infection and Immunity

Edward Portal. Research Technician for the Institute of Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine, Cardiff University.

Edward graduated with honours in Biomedical Science (BSc) from the University of Lincoln and has a Masters in Molecular Medicine (MSc) from Imperial College London. He works in the whole genome sequencing aspect of the project; sequencing sepsis and antibiotic resistant causing isolates to determine bacterial identification, virulence factors, resistance genes and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). He also works in the laboratory to process samples to uncover resistance genes present in mother rectal, neonatal and environmental samples from all sites involved. Edward is also a visiting UK correspondent for BARNARDS, having so far visited Ethiopia, India, Nigeria and South Africa particularly when there are training opportunities for laboratory staff in molecular microbiology techniques.

Technical Specialist, BARNARDS

Kathryn Thomson, Research Assistant

Kathryn Thomson. Research Assistant, Institute of Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine, Cardiff University.

Katy has a BSc (Hons) in Biology from University of Manchester and a Masters in Marine Ecology and Environmental Management and has previously worked as a research scientist in the private sector. As a technical specialist on the project, Katy works in the laboratory processing samples collected from international sites to uncover beta lactamase resistance genes present, that enable resistance against beta-lactam antibiotics, including blaCTX-M15, blaKPC, blaOXA-48-like and blaNDM. Katy is also involved in the analysis of data and organisation of the laboratory and hopes to become involved in the sequencing of relevant samples looking forward into the project. Katy originally started on BARNARDS as the project coordinator, which provided her with a broad perspective of the project and she still assists with coordination of the partners from international sites

Data Manager/Senior Technician, BARNARDS

Calie Dyer, Senior Technician

Calie Dyer. Senior Technician, Institute of Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine, Cardiff University.

Calie received her first class Bachelor of Science (Hons) from the University of Plymouth having studied Animal Behaviour & Welfare with Environmental Microbiology, focusing on bacteriology, the mammalian microbiome and ecology. Calie subsequently joined us from Cardiff University’s School of Pharmacy with a working background predominantly in sporulating Gram positive bacteria with keen overall interests in enteric/commensal pathogens, AMR and the related evolutionary ecology. Calie’s role on the project is diverse, equally assisting both the BARNARDS Project Manager and the Research Staff with sample processing in the microbiology lab.


Ana Daniela Ferreira, PhD Student

Ana Daniela Ferreira. PhD Student, Institute Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine, Cardiff University.

Ana’s PhD project aims to study more about the patterns and effects of antimicrobial resistance in neonatal morbidity and mortality in LMICs; by determining whether isolates collected from neonatal sepsis cases match those cultured from the corresponding mother and investigating carriage rate of multi-drug resistant gram-negative bacteria in mothers. Eventually, this study will help toward developing new treatments and rapid techniques for diagnosis of sepsis in LMICs by relating the aetiology of neonatal sepsis with the metagenome mining data.


Research Assistants, BARNARDS

Jordan Matthias

Maria Nieto

Thomas Hender


Data Analysis, BARNARDS

Professor of Trials and the Director of the UKCRC Registered Centre for Trials Research at Cardiff University

Professor Kerry Hood

Deputy Director of Infection, Inflammation & Immunity Trials and Senior Research Fellow

Dr David Gillespie

BARNARDS Statistician, Centre for Trials, Cardiff University

Katie Taiyari

Senior Data Manager, Centre for Trials, Cardiff University

Nigel Kirby