Susana Direito is the ECFP Impact Acceleration Associate in Biological Physics and a Research Fellow of the National Biofilm Innovation Centre.
Susana completed her PhD in 2012 in the Geomicrobiology/Quantitative Microbial Ecology group at the Molecular Cell Physiology department, VU University Amsterdam (Amsterdam, The Netherlands). During postdoctoral posts at the Leiden Institute of Chemistry (Leiden University, The Netherlands), she prepared sample tests for experiments on board the International Space Station (BIOMEX and Photochemistry on the Space Station) in order to understand the photostability of pigments and amino acids embedded in minerals in the space environment. She also quantified the recovery of organics from Mars analogue minerals at the European Space Agency (ESA, ESTEC – European Space Research and Technology Centre in Noordwijk, The Netherlands).
Afterwards she moved to the University of Edinburgh, UK, where she carried out research in Astrobiology and Microbiology and developed and managed a STFC-funded network (Geological Repositories Network – GeoRepNet) with a strong focus on technology transfer from the physics and space sectors. She now works closely with Rosalind Allen and Bartek Waclaw in biological physics to explore the evolution of antibiotic resistance.
Susana has expertise in microbiology and molecular biology techniques and her scientific interests include biofilm formation, detection, eradication and advancing antimicrobial technologies. She has won awards related to these topics, including an EPSRC Impact Acceleration Award and a NBIC Proof of Concept (POC) award to study biofilm formation in venous catheters, in collaboration with an SME.