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Karen Vickery

Scientific Director for the Surgical Infection Research Group (SIRG), MQ Vice Chancellor Innovation Fellow

Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Contact Details

Tel: (02) 9850 2773


Level 1, 75 Talavera Road, Macquarie University

A/Professor Vickery is a microbiologist investigating medically important bacterial biofilms. Biofilms can cause medical implant failure, instrument and hospital surface decontamination failure. Biofilm bacteria are more tolerant of biocides typically surviving 100-250 times the amount of an antibiotic needed to kill the same bacteria growing in liquid culture. Her work involves traditional microbial culture, next generation sequencing, proteomics and scanning electron microscopy for early detection,  biofilm prevention and removal of formed biofilm studies utilizing clinical samples, in vitro and in vivo models


BVSc (Hons), MVSc, PhD

Research Interest

  • Prevention of biofilm formation on implantable medical devices
  • Early diagnosis of biofilm related implant disease
  • Biofilm removal strategies from hospital and equipment surfaces
  • Improving healing of biofilm infected chronic wounds

Select Publications

  1. Hu H, Johani K, Gosbell IB, Jacombs A, Almatroudi A, Whiteley GS, Deva AK, Jensen S and Vickery K. Intensive care unit environmental surfaces are contaminated by multiresistant bacteria in biofilms: combined results of conventional culture, pyrosequencing, scanning electron microscopy and confocal laser microscopy. J Hospital Infection ;2015;91:35-44.DOI 10.1016/j.jhin.2015.05.016.
  2. Almatroudi A, Hu H, Deva A, Gosbell I, Jacombs A, Jensen S, Whiteley GS, Glasbey T, Vickery K. A new dry-surface biofilm model: an essential tool for efficacy testing of hospital surface decontamination procedures. Journal of Microbiological Methods. 2015; DOI information: 10.1016/j.mimet.2015.08.003.
  3. Jacombs A, Allan J, Hu H, Valente PM, Wessels W, Deva AK, Vickery K. Prevention of biofilm-induced capsular contracture with antibiotic- impregnated mesh in the porcine model. Aesthetic Surg J;2012; 32(7):886-891.

Grant Success

  • 2015-2017 NSW Health Integrated Care and Innovation Fund. Multilevel integrated care model targeting two chronic diseases in the Sutherland Shire. $805,000.
  • 2014-2016 ARC Linkage Grant. Developing novel chemistries for removing environmental surface biofilms to reduce hospital acquired infections. $353,000
  • 2011-2016 A/Prof. Vickery MQ Vice Chancellors Innovation Fellowship.
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