Dr Cheryl-Lynn Ong

Research Fellow

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
Faculty of Science
+61 7 336 51892


My main research interest lies in the field of Microbiology, with a focus on bacterial infections and infectious diseases. I work mainly on Streptococcal species (Group A Streptococcus and Streptococcus pneumoniae) that causes a wide range of infections ranging from mild sore throats, to ear infections to more serious ‘flesh-eating’ disease, chest infection, pneumonia and bacteremia.

Over the years, I have acquired a wide range of techniques that has helped with my research. These include:

  • fundamental microbiology,
  • molecular and genetic techniques,
  • biochemistry,
  • immunology, and
  • animal studies

My current research has been focused on metals in biology. In particular, the metal pathways by which bacteria use to survive in the hostile human host. Metals play a large role in the biology of bacterial pathogens and in the host. They are needed as co-factors in enzymes, enhances growth and play a protective role against oxidative and nitrosative stresses. However, a metal imbalance that results in metal overload can have devastating adverse effects to the bacteria. I have demonstrated that addition of manganese can rescue the toxic effects of iron-induced stress, and that malfunction of a zinc efflux pump can result in decreased virulence. My aim is to identify novel ways in which metals such as zinc can be utilised to kill these bacterial pathogens, particularly when antibiotic resistance is on the rise.


  • Bachelor of Environmental Science, The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland


  • Stewart, Louisa J., Ong, Cheryl-Lynn Y., Zhang, May M., Brouwer, Stephan, McIntyre, Liam, Davies, Mark R., Walker, Mark J., McEwan, Alastair G., Waldron, Kevin J. and Djoko, Karrera Y. (2020). Role of glutathione in buffering excess intracellular copper in Streptococcus pyogenes. mBio, 11 (6) e02804-20, 1-19. doi: 10.1128/mBio.02804-20

  • Chen, Nathan H., Ong, Cheryl-Lynn Y, O'Sullivan, Jonathan, Ibranovic, Ines, Davey, Krystelle, Edwards, Jennifer L. and McEwan, Alastair G. (2020). Two distinct L-lactate dehydrogenases play a role in the survival of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in cervical epithelial cells. The Journal of infectious diseases, 221 (3), 449-453. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiz468

  • Eijkelkamp, Bart A., Morey, Jacqueline R., Neville, Stephanie L., Tan, Aimee, Pederick, Victoria G., Cole, Nerida, Singh, Prashina P., Ong, Cheryl-Lynn Y., Gonzalez de Vega, Raquel, Clases, David, Cunningham, Bliss A., Hughes, Catherine E., Comerford, Iain, Brazel, Erin B., Whittall, Jonathan J., Plumptre, Charles D., McColl, Shaun R., Paton, James C., McEwan, Alastair G., Doble, Philip A. and McDevitt, Christopher A. (2019). Dietary zinc and the control of Streptococcus pneumoniae infection. PLOS Pathogens, 15 (8) e1007957, e1007957. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1007957

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