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Dr Catrin Williams


I obtained my BSc (Hons.) degree from Cardiff University in 2008, having conducted research for my final year project in Prof. David Lloyd’s laboratory, where my interest in the antimicrobial action of garlic first came about. During the summer of 2008 I worked for a short period for my PhD CASE partner Neem Biotech Ltd. investigating the antibacterial effect of garlic against Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Campylobacter jejuni. I then commenced on an around the world trip for 6 months, visiting South America, Australia and Asia. Upon my return I began a GO-Wales work placement at the Port Talbot-based Obsidian Research Ltd where I conducted two projects on molecular identification and intestinal adherence of probiotic bacteria.

I carried out my PhD from October 2009 until May 2013, based in the Schools of Biosciences and Chemistry at Cardiff University researching the antimicrobial activity of garlic.


Position: Postdoctoral researcher
Location: Cultech LTD


Spironucleus vortens is a parasite of huge economic importance in the aquaculture industry, particularly of ornamental fish such as cichlids, worth an estimated $7000 million per annum. Fish infected with this parasite display the characteristic clinical manifestations of holes in the head and lateral line region, often resulting in 100% mortality. Treatment with the nitroimidazole metronidazole is the traditional method used to eradicate S. vortens infections, however in recent years its use has been highly controversial due to carcinogenicity and its non-biodegradable properties, prompting its ban from use on outdoor fish farms in 1998. Evidently, there is an urgent need for alternative therapies to treat this troublesome parasite. In recent years, garlic’s medicinal properties have been highly studied with, as yet, no reports of microbial resistance. However, the mode of action of this chemically complex extract remains a mystery. The aim of my PhD was to evaluate the antimicrobial effect and the mode of action of garlic and its isolated compounds against S. vortens, and to understand more about the biochemistry and the pathogenicity of this parasite.


I am currently working as a KTP Associate with Cultech Ltd, a nutraceutical company based in South Wales, and the University of Reading. My project involves testing the synbiotic potential of probiotics and prebiotics using an in vitro gut model system.


Lloyd D., Williams C.F., Vijayalakshmi K., Kombrabail M., White N., Hayes A.J., Aon M.A., Krishnamoorthy G. (2013). Intracellular oxygen: similar results from two methods of measurement using phosphorescent nanoparticles. J. Innov. Opt. Health Sci. 6: 1350041

Millet C.O., Williams C.F., Hayes A.J., Hann A.C., Cable J., Lloyd D. (2013). Mitochondria-derived organelles in the diplomonad fish parasite Spironucleus vortens. Exp. Parasitol. 15: 262-273

Pritchard V., Thorp-Greenwood F., Balasingham R., Williams C.F., Kariuki B., Platts J., Hallett A., Coogan M.P. (2013). Simple polyphenyl zirconium and hafnium metallocene room-temperature lumophores for cell imaging. Organometallics 32: 3566-356

Williams C.F., Vacca A.R., Lloyd D., Schelkle B., Cable J. (2013). Non-invasive investigation of Spironucleus vortens transmission in freshwater angelfish Pterophyllum scalare. Dis. Aquat. Organ. 105: 211-223

Williams C.F., Millet C.O.M., Hayes A.J., Cable J., Lloyd D. (2013). Diversity in mitochondria-derived organelles of the parasitic diplomonads Spironucleus and Giardia. Trends Parasitol. 29: 311-312

Joshi L.T., Phillips D.S., Williams C.F., Alyousef A., Baillie L. (2012). Contribution of spores to the ability of Clostridium difficile to adhere surfaces. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 78: 7671-7679

Williams C.F., Kombrabail M., Vijayalakshmi K., White N., Krishnamoorthy G., Lloyd D. (2012). Evaluation of two novel methods for assessing intracellular O2. Meas. Sci. Technol. 23: 084005.

Balasingham R.G., Williams C.F., Mottram H.J., Coogan M.P., Pope S.J.A. (2012). Gold(I) complexes derived from alkynyloxy-substituted anthraquinones: syntheses, luminescence, preliminary cytotoxicity, and cell imaging studies. Organometallics 31: 5835–5843.

Fernández-Moreira V.,  Ortego M.L., Williams C.F., Coogan M.P., Villacampa M.D., Gimeno M.C. (2012). Bioconjugated rhenium(I) complexes with amino acid derivatives: synthesis, photophysical properties, and cell imaging studies. Organometallics 31: 5950–5957.

Williams C.F., Lloyd D., Kolarich D., Alagesan K., Duchene D., Cable J., Williams D., Leitsch D. (2012). Disrupted intracellular redox balance of the diplomonad fish parasite Spironucleus vortens by 5-nitroimidazoles and garlic-derived compounds. Vet. Parasitol. 190: 62-73

Williams C.F., Lloyd D. (2012). Composition and antimicrobial properties of sulphur-containing constituents of garlic (Allium sativum). In: Essential Oils as Natural Food Additives: Composition, Quality and Antimicrobial Activity. Ed. Valgimigli L. Nova Publishers, Inc. NY, USA, pp. 287-304.

Balasingham R.G., Thorp-Greenwood F.L., Williams C.F., Coogan M.P., Pope S.J.A. (2012). Biologically compatible, phosphorescent dimetallic rhenium complexes linked through functionalized alkyl chains: syntheses, spectroscopic properties, and applications in imagining microscopy. Inorg. Chem. 51: 1419-1426.

Williams C.F., Lloyd D., Poynton S.L., Jorgensen A., Millet C.O.M., Cable J. (2011). Spironucleus species: economically-important fish pathogens and enigmatic single-celled eukaryotes. J. Aquac. Res. Development S2-002

Thorpe-Greenwood F.L., Fernández-Moreira V., Millet C.O., Williams C.F., Cable J., Court J.B., Hayes A.J., Lloyd D., Coogan M.P. (2011). A ‘Sleeping Trojan Horse’ which transports metal ions into cells, localises in the nucleoli, and has potential for bimodal fluorescence/PET imaging. Chem. Commun. 47: 3096-3098.

Millet C.O.M., Lloyd D., Williams C.F., Cable J. (2011). In vitro culture of the diplomonad fish parasite Spironucleus vortens reveals unusually fast doubling time and atypical biphasic growth. J. Fish Dis. 34: 71-73.

Millet C.O.M., Lloyd D., Williams C.F., Williams D., Evans G., Saunders R.A., Cable J. (2010). Effect of garlic and allium-derived products on the growth and metabolism of Spironucleus vortens. Exp. Parasitol. 127: 490-499.

Fernández-Moreia V., Thorpe-Greenwood F.L., Amoroso A.J., Cable J., Court J.B., Grey V., Hayes A.J., Jenkins R.L., Karriuki B.M., Lloyd D., Millet C.O.M., Williams C.F., Coogan M.P. (2010). Uptake, localisation, toxicity and stability of rhenium fac-tricarbonyl bisimine pyridine derivatives as fluorophores in cell imaging studies in yeast and human breast cancer cells. OBC 8: 3888-3891.



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