Dr Eva Heinz

Senior Lecturer in Disease Genomics

Eva completed her Masters and PhD at the University of Vienna comparing non-pathogenic to pathogenic Chlamydiae. She performed postdoctoral research at Newcastle University (UK), Monash University (Australia) and the Wellcome Sanger Institute (UK) before joining LSTM. Eva’s research includes reductive genome evolution of eukaryotic parasites, bacterial membrane protein family evolution, and bacterial genome evolution.

In January 2019 Eva joined the Vector Biology and Clinical Sciences Departments as Lecturer in Disease Genomics. She was promoted to Senior Lecturer in December 2020.


The evolution of high-risk lineages in Gram-negative bacterial pathogens, and the reciprocal interaction of antimicrobial resistance spread and bacterial population dynamics.

The impact acquired vs. chromosomal resistance mechanisms on different opportunistic bacterial pathogen species.

The evolution of bacterial cell surface proteomes and carbohydrate structures for more efficient vaccine design.

Mosquito-microbiome interactions and their impact on vector-borne virus and parasite transmission.


Wellcome SEED Award, 2019-2022. Looking for the Achilles heel: understanding the role of intrinsic and acquired determinants of antimicrobial resistance in the rise and fall of Klebsiella pneumoniae lineages as first step in exploiting the fitness cost of antimicrobial resistance. 217303/Z/19/Z. (PI).

BMGF, 2020-2021. Sequencing Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates from Chatinkha neonatal unit. INV-005180. (Co-I).

Current PhD students

Gal Horesh; main supervisor Prof. Thomson, Wellcome Sanger Institue. Characterising the Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae gene pools.

Cintia Cansado-Utrillo, main supervisor Dr. Hughes . Understanding mosquito - microbe symbiosis to develop new vector control methods.

Past PhD students:

Completed successfully 2018: Von Vergel Torres, Monash University. Cellular and molecular imaging of biofilm communities and the effects of antimicrobial peptides. Now PDRA at the University of Queensland.

Completed successfully 2017: Pankaj Deo, Monash University. The role of Neisserial "blebs" on host cell biology during infection. Now PDRA at Monash University.

Completed successfully 2016: Christopher Stubenrauch, Monash University. The Translocation and Assembly Module (TAM) participates in the assembly of fimbrial ushers, inverse autotransporters and LptDE. Now PDRA at Monash University.

Selected publications

  • Horesh G, Fino C, Harms A, Dorman MD, Parts L, Gerdes K, Heinz E, Thomson NR. (2020) Type II and Type IV Toxin-Antitoxin systems show different evolutionary patterns in the global K. pneumoniae population. Nucleic Acids Research.

    Ellington MJ*, Heinz E* (*Equally contributing), Wailan A, Dorman M, Cain A, Henson S, Gleadall N, Brown NM, Woodford N, Parkhill J, Török EM, Peacock SJ, Thomson NR. (2019) A seven-year retrospective study reveals different population dynamics and patterns of acquired vs. intrinsic resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae and Enterobacter cloacae. Genome Biology.

    Heinz E, Brindle R, Morgan-McCalla A, Peters K, Thomson NR. (2019) Caribbean multi-centre study of Klebsiella pneumoniae: whole-genome sequencing, antimicrobial resistance and virulence factors. Microbial Genomics.

    Heinz E, Ejaz H, Bartholdson Scott J, Wang N, Gujaran S, Pickard D, Wilksch J, Cao H, Haq IU, Dougan G, Strugnell RA. (2019) Resistance mechanisms and population structure of highly drug resistant Klebsiella in Pakistan during the introduction of the carbapenemase NDM-1. Scientific Reports.

    Horesh G, Harms A, Fino C, Parts L, Gerdes K, Heinz E, Thomson NR. (2018) SLING: a tool to search for linked genes in bacterial datasets. Nucleic Acids Research.

    Stubenrauch CJ, Dougan G, Lithgow T, Heinz E. (2017) Constraints on lateral gene transfer in promoting fimbrial usher protein diversity and function. Open Biology.

    Heinz E, Selkrig J, Belousoff MJ, Lithgow T. (2015) Evolution of the Translocation and Assembly Module (TAM). Genome Biology and Evolution.

    Heinz E, Hacker C, Dean P, Mifsud J, Goldberg AV, Williams TA, Nakjang S, Gregory A, Hirt RP, Lucocq JM, Kunji ER, Embley TM. Plasma membrane-located purine nucleotide transport proteins are key components for host exploitation by microsporidian intracellular parasites. (2014) PLoS Pathogens.

    Webb CT*, Heinz E* (*Equally contributing), Lithgow T. Evolution of the β-barrel assembly machinery. (2012) Review: Trends in Microbiology

    Heinz E, Williams TA, Nakjang S, Noel C, Swan DC et al. (2012) The genome of the obligate intracellular parasite Trachipleistophora hominis: new insights into microsporidian genome dynamics and reductive evolution. PLoS Pathogens.