Senior Research Scientist



I joined the Lewis lab in 2011 after completion of my PhD in University College Dublin under Dr. Jim O’Gara, which was focused on Staphylococcal biofilm formation. During my PhD, I identified the protein Aap as a mediator of the primary attachment phase of biofilm formation in S. epidermidis. I also worked on the role of teichoic acids in S. epidermidis biofilm formation. My current research interests include Staphylococcus aureus persister cell formation, biofilm tolerance to antimicrobials and methods to eradicate persisters.
During my time in the Lewis lab, I have been, and continue to be involved in seminal studies on novel antibiotic treatments for S. aureus infection. I led a project on acyldepsipeptides (ADEPs) killing persisters, which was published in Nature in 2013. I continue to work on ADEPs and their capacity to eradicate various bacterial populations. I was involved in the characterization of teixobactin, a new antibiotic produced by a previously uncultured soil bacterium. This work was published in Nature in 2015. I continue to investigate the novel mechanism of killing of teixobactin. I am also committed to identifying the mechanism by which S. aureus persisters evade the bactericidal action of antibiotics and have made major advances toward this goal.
My major goal is to continue to discover novel mechanisms to target and kill S. aureus and I believe this will lead to greatly improved treatments of chronic and complicated Staphylococcal infections.


  • Holland LM, Conlon BP, O’Gara JP. Mutation of tagO reveals an essential role for wall teichoic acids in Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm development. Microbiology, 157, 408-418, (2010).
  • Conlon BP, Nakayasu EN, Fleck LE, LaFleur MD, Isabella VM, Coleman K, Leonard SN, Smith RD, Adkins JN, Lewis K. Activated ClpP kills persisters and eradicates a chronic biofilm infection. Nature. 503, 365-370, (2013).
  • Conlon BP, Staphylococcus aureus chronic and relapsing infections: Evidence of a role for persister cells. Bioessays, (2014).
  • Conlon BP, Geoghegan JA, Waters EM, McCarthy H, Rowe SE, Davies JR, Schaeffer CR, Foster TJ, Fey PD, O’Gara, JP. A role for the A domain of unprocessed accumulation associated protein (Aap) in the attachment phase of the Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm phenotype. Journal of Bacteriology, (2014).
  • Ling LL, Schneider T, Peoples AJ, Spoering AL, Engels I, Conlon BP, Hughes DE, Epstein S, Jones M, Poullenec K, Steadman V, Cohen DR, Felix CR, Fetterman KA, Millett WP, Nitti AG, Zullo AM, Chen C, Lewis K. Killing of pathogens by teixobactin without associated resistance. Nature (2015).


  • Conlon BP, Lewis K, Nelson ML, Pollastri MP, Dahl TA, Methods of eradicating bacterial cell populations, US 20140031275, Published January 30, 2014.

Book Chapters:

  • Conlon BP, Rowe SE, Lewis K. Persister cells in biofilm associated infection. Biofilm-based Healthcare Associated Infections. Springer, (2014).
  • Lewis K, Conlon BP, LaFleur MD. Eradication of Dormant Pathogens. Antibiotics: Current Innovations and Future Trends.
  • Rowe SE, Conlon BP, Keren I, Lewis K. Bacterial Persistence. Methods in Molecular Biology. Springer, (In print).


  • Dunican Medal – The Dunican medal is awarded to the graduate that achieves top of his/her class on completion of the BSc (Hons) in Microbiology at National University of Ireland, Galway.
    June 2006
  • Embark Postgraduate Research Scholarship – This scholarship is awarded to leading candidates for Doctorate level research in the sciences, engineering or technology.
    September 2006
  • Charles A King Fellowship – Awarded to scientists in non-profit academic, medical or research institutions in Massachusetts.
    July 2014
  • ASM Teaching fellowship – Awarded for completion of the ASM Science Teaching Fellows Program
    February 2015