Cristiana O’Brien

Current title:
Research Technician I
Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Immunology & English Language and Literature, University of Western Ontario, Canada

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network

Cristiana O’Brien completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Western Ontario (London, Canada) in Microbiology and Immunology, and English Language and Literature with a certificate in Italian Language. She started as a research technician at the DaCosta lab in 2016.

The DaCosta lab is interested in exploring new methods to identify, diagnose, and track infections in chronic wounds. We have ongoing in vivo and ex vivo studies investigating biofilm and non-biofilm infection detection using auto-fluorescence, histological staining, and fluorescently labelled biomarkers. I am responsible for testing the new protocols or technologies and assist with bringing them into clinical trial such as the upcoming “Biofilm” (evaluation of auto-fluorescent properties of biofilms in diabetic foot ulcers) study.

I am also interested in antibiotic stewardship initiatives such as antibiotic susceptibility/resistance detection technologies which can improve patient care at the point of care. I also assist with other ongoing projects within the lab with technical research such as optical phantom development.

Image of suspected S. aureus biofilm grown on an ex-vivo wound model and captured with a scanning electron microscope. The sticky extracellular matrix occludes the S. aureus cocci at the biofilm surface and can be seen between cells, like glue, holding them together.