Clifford Clark

Image Sarah London
Research Scientist, Division of Enteric Diseases

Research focusing on enteric pathogens and their impacts on the human population

Current research and/or projects

Dr. Clark is interested in all aspects of the biology of enteric pathogens that may affect the introduction of these pathogens into the human population to cause illness. His research is directed toward understanding what genetic or adaptive properties of pathogenic enteric bacteria allows them to traverse the food chain, as well as the virulence factors or other adaptive factors that are associated with common or severe human illness. His research aims to deliver information useful in determining the population structure of pathogens and enables better risk assessments or interventions to reduce human illness.

Research and/or project statements

  • Genome sequencing and analysis of the emerging monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium variant, Salmonella, providing the first clear description of how these enteric pathogens work
    • Data expected to yield insights into what proportion of the burden of illness these variants cause and how and why these selected organisms contribute to human disease
    • Identified genomic markers associated with introduction of these elements that is useful for surveillance and outbreak investigations
    • Markers evident in whole genome sequences are valuable for tracking and controlling these pathogens
  • Variants of transducer-like proteins may be an important marker for how Campylobacter jejuni isolates impact the human population
    • Campylobacter species are the bacterial pathogens most commonly associated with human enteric disease worldwide and have severe disease consequences.
    • Working toward determining the Tlp content of isolates from different animal and environmental sources
    • Lab’s recent published work first to describe variability within each Tlp type

Professional activities / interests

Speaks at meetings and conferences across Canada and the US

Education and awards

Education:

National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow, 1995

Ontario Ministry of Health Postdoctoral Fellow, 1993

Ph.D. Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, University of Alberta, 1992

M.Sc. Bacterial Genetics, University of Calgary, 1985

B.Sc. Cellular and Microbial Biology, University of Calgary, 1979

Awards:

National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1993-1995

Ontario Ministry of Health Postdoctoral Fellow, 1992-1993

Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Graduate Studentship, 1989-1991

International experience and/or work

Member of The American Society for Microbiology

Implemented instruments for automated antimicrobial resistance determination compatible with that used by NARMS in the US that greatly facilitated sharing of data between the US and Canada

Key publications

Clark C, Berry C, Demczuk W. 2019. Diversity of transducer-like proteins (Tlps) in Campylobacter. PLoS One. 2019 Mar 25;14(3):e0214228

http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0214228

Clark CG, Chen CY, Berry C, Walker M, McCorrister SJ, Chong PM, Westmacott GR. 2018. Comparison of genomes and proteomes of four whole genome-sequenced Campylobacter jejuni from different phylogenetic backgrounds. PLoS One. 2018 Jan 2;13(1):e0190836. 

http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0190836   

Clark CG, Berry C, Walker M, Petkau A, Barker DOR, Guan C, Reimer A, Taboada EN. 2016, Genomic insights from whole genome sequencing of four clonal outbreak Campylobacter jejuni assessed within the global C. jejuni population. BMC Genomics 17:990.

http://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-016-3340-8  

Clark CG, Chong P, McCorrister SJ, Mabon P, Westmacott GR. 2014. DNA sequence heterogeneity of Campylobacter jejuni CJIE4 prophages and expression of prophage genes. PLoS One 9(4):e95349

http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0095349

Clark CG, Chong P, McCorrister SJ, Simon P, Walker M, Lee DM, Nguy K, Cheng K, Gilmour MW, Westmacott GR. 2014. The CJIE1 prophage of Campylobacter jejuni affects protein expression in growth media with and without bile salts. BMC Microbiol 14:70.

http://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2180-14-70

Clark CG, Kruczkiewicz P, Guan C, McCorrister SJ, Wylie J, van Caeseele P, Tabor H, Snarr P, Taboada EN, Westmacott GR, Gilmour MW. 2013. Evaluation of MALDI-TOF mass spectroscopy methods for determination of Escherichia coli pathotypes. J. Microbiol. Methods 94:180-191.

http://doi.org/10.1016/j.mimet.2013.06.020

Clark CG, Grant CCR, Pollari F, Marshall B, Moses J, Tracz DM, Gilmour M. 2012. Effects of the Campylobacter jejuni CJIE1 prophage homologs on affect adherence and invasion in culture, patient symptoms, and source of infection. BMC Microbiol 12:269

http://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2180-12-269