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The Ramsay lab was established in 2013 and is based in the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute and School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Curtin University, Western Australia.


Mobile genetic elements such as plasmids, bacteriophage and chromosomally-integrating elements are ubiquitous in bacteria and drive evolution through horizontal gene transfer.
We investigate the gene regulation, evolution and molecular biology of bacterial mobile genetic elements - along with a plethora of other interesting things we get our hands on!

The Ramsay lab currently studies mobile genetic elements active in both human pathogens (Staphylococcus aureus) and beneficial nitrogen-fixing plant-associated rhizobia (Mesorhizobium spp). 


DUF2285 is a novel helix-turn-helix domain variant that orchestrates both activation and antiactivation of conjugative element transfer in proteobacteria
William J JowseyCalum R P MorrisDrew A HallJohn T SullivanRobert D FagerlundKarina Y EtoPaul D SolomonJoel P MackayCharles S BondJoshua P RamsayClive W Ronson

Nucleic Acids Res 2023 doi: 10.1093/nar/gkad45


Check out the Ramsay Lab's (in colab with Bond lab) first Xray crystal structure - the helical polymer forming excisionase - RdfS. Made the cover of Acta D!


Crystallographic and X-ray scattering study of RdfS, a recombination directionality factor from an integrative and conjugative element
Callum J Verdonk, Andrew C Marshall, Joshua P Ramsay, Charles S Bond
Acta Crystallogr D Struct Biol. 2022 Oct 1;78(Pt 10):1210-1220

An epigenetic switch activates bacterial quorum sensing and horizontal transfer of an integrative and conjugative element

Joshua P. Ramsay, Tahlia R. Bastholm, Callum J. Verdonk, Dinah D. Tambalo, John T. Sullivan, Liam K. Harold, Beatrice A. Panganiban, Elena Colombi, Benjamin J. Perry, William Jowsey, Calum Morris, Michael F. Hynes, Charles S. Bond, Andrew D.S. Cameron, Christopher K. Yost and Clive W. Ronson

Nucleic Acids Research 2021

Evolving origin-of-transfer sequences on staphylococcal conjugative and mobilizable plasmids-who's mimicking whom?

Yui Eto K, Kwong SM, LaBreck PT, Crow JE, Traore DAK, Parahitiyawa N, Fairhurst HM, Merrell DS, Firth N, Bond CS, Ramsay JP.

Nucleic Acids Research 2021

Sequential induction of three recombination directionality factors directs

assembly of tripartite Integrative and Conjugative Elements

Haskett TL, Terpolilli JJ, Ramachandran VK, Verdonk CJ, Poole PS, O’Hara GW, Ramsay JP.

PLoS Genetics 2018 (Early online)

Assembly and transfer of tripartite integrative and conjugative

genetic elements

Haskett TL, Terpolilli JJ, Bekuma A, O'Hara GW, Sullivan JT, Wang P, Ronson CW, Ramsay JP.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 2016 113:12268-12273

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