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Conor Meehan

Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology

Faculty/Dept/School School of Chemistry and Bioscience
(Faculty of Life Sciences)


Understanding how pathogens transmit between hosts and the underlying genomic mechanisms that confer resistance to drugs is crucial for reducing the incidence of infection and increasing the effectiveness of treatments.
Dr. Meehan's research focusses on the evolution and epidemiology of microbes, primarily pathogenic mycobacteria such as M. tuberculosis, M. ulcerans and M. leprae. His primary goal is to enhance incorporation of molecular techniques into clinical and public health settings for tracking drug resistance and pathogen transmission in high burden settings, with an emphasis on whole genome sequencing coupled with phylogenetics-based analyses.


Teaching highlights

Sept 2019
Faculty – EPONGE, Arequipa, Peru  
Lecturing participants on phylogenetics, UNIX skills and Mycobacterium tuberculosis population structure.

June 2018, Aug 2019
Faculty – VLIR NGS Ethiopia mentee training, Antwerp Belgium/Cape Town, South Africa
Guiding students through proposal selection and writing. Teaching extensive UNIX and whole genome sequencing skills.

Feb 2018, Sept 2019
Faculty – Short course on Molecular Data for Infectious Diseases, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium.  
Lecturing participants on phylogenetics and viral phylodynamics. Mentor for group project on bacterial epidemiology.

Mar 2014-May 2019
Lecturer – University of Antwerp and Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium.
Guest lecturer on molecular epidemiology within the University of Antwerp Masters in Tropical Infectious Diseases. Lecture topics include phylogenetics, bacterial epidemiology and viral epidemiology. Guest lecture also given on biological databases for the research methodology module of the Masters of Animal Science at the ITM. Institute-wide teaching seminars on phylogenetics and protein evolution.

July 2012, 2013, 2017
Faculty – Workshop on Molecular Evolution at MBL, USA.  
Lecturing on HIV evolution, microbiomes, lateral gene transfer, bacterial species concepts and phylodynamics. Additionally, I undertook the role of head teaching instructor and supervised twelve 3-hour computer practicals including the creation of introductions to the UNIX environment, MrBayes and BEAST2.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission in high burden countries.
Incorporating whole genome sequencing into clinical decision making for the treatment of pathogens.
Improving bioinformatics techniques for pathogen detection and comparative genomics.

Professional activities

  • 01-JAN-11: NUI Galway, Ireland - Ph.D.
  • 01-JAN-07: Maynooth University, Ireland - B.Sc.
  • 03-MAR-14: Institute of Tropical Medicine - Research Fellow
  • 01-MAR-11: Dalhousie University - Postdoctoral Fellow
  • 03-JUN-19: University of Bradford - Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology


Peer Reviewed Journal
TitleWhole genome sequencing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: current standards and open issues. (2019)
AuthorsMeehan CJ;Goig GA;Kohl TA;Verboven L;Dippenaar A;Ezewudo M;Farhat MR;Guthrie JL;Laukens K;Miotto P;Ofori-Anyinam B;Dreyer V;Supply P;Suresh A;Utpatel C;van Soolingen D;Zhou Y;Ashton PM;Brites D;Cabibbe AM;de Jong BC;de Vos M;Menardo F;Gagneux S;Gao Q;Heupink TH;Liu Q;Loiseau C;Rigouts L;Rodwell TC;Tagliani E;Walker TM;Warren RM;Zhao Y;Zignol M;Schito M;Gardy J;Cirillo DM;Niemann S;Comas I;Van Rie A;
JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
TitleGWAS for quantitative resistance phenotypes in Mycobacterium tuberculosis reveals resistance genes and regulatory regions. (2019)
AuthorsFarhat MR;Freschi L;Calderon R;Ioerger T;Snyder M;Meehan CJ;de Jong B;Rigouts L;Sloutsky A;Kaur D;Sunyaev S;van Soolingen D;Shendure J;Sacchettini J;Murray M;
JournalNature Communications
TitleMycobacterium ulcerans Population Genomics To Inform on the Spread of Buruli Ulcer across Central Africa. (2019)
AuthorsVandelannoote K;Phanzu DM;Kibadi K;Eddyani M;Meehan CJ;Jordaens K;Leirs H;Portaels F;Stinear TP;Harris SR;de Jong BC;
TitleStorage of Sputum in Cetylpyridinium Chloride, OMNIgene.SPUTUM, and Ethanol Is Compatible with Molecular Tuberculosis Diagnostic Testing. (2019)
AuthorsSanoussi CN;de Jong BC;Affolabi D;Meehan CJ;Odoun M;Rigouts L;
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
TitleSuperimposing incident sexually transmitted infections on HIV phylogram to investigate possible misclassification of men who have sex with men as heterosexuals in a cohort in Antwerp, Belgium. (2019)
AuthorsOsbak KK;Meehan CJ;G Ribas S;Heyndrickx L;Ariën KK;Tsoumanis A;Florence E;Esbroeck MV;Fransen K;Kenyon CR;
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
TitleEthical Considerations for Movement Mapping to Identify Disease Transmission Hotspots. (2019)
Authorsde Jong BC;Gaye BM;Luyten J;van Buitenen B;Andre E;Meehan CJ;OSiochain C;Tomsu K;Urbain J;Grietens KP;Njue M;Pinxten W;Gehre F;Nyan O;Buve A;Roca A;Ravinetto R;Antonio M;
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
TitleIsoniazid resistance levels of Mycobacterium tuberculosis can largely be predicted by high-confidence resistance-conferring mutations. (2018)
AuthorsLempens P;Meehan CJ;Vandelannoote K;Fissette K;de Rijk P;Van Deun A;Rigouts L;de Jong BC;
JournalScientific Reports
TitlePotential Application of Digitally Linked Tuberculosis Diagnostics for Real-Time Surveillance of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Transmission: Validation and Analysis of Test Results (2018)
AuthorsKamela Charmaine Ng;Conor Joseph Meehan;Gabriela Torrea;Leonie Goeminne;Maren Diels;Leen Rigouts;Bouke Catherine de Jong;Emmanuel Andre;
JournalJmir Medical Informatics
TitleCandidate Treponema pallidum biomarkers uncovered in urine from individuals with syphilis using mass spectrometry. (2018)
AuthorsOsbak KK;Van Raemdonck GA;Dom M;Cameron CE;Meehan CJ;Deforce D;Ostade XV;Kenyon CR;Dhaenens M;
JournalFuture Microbiology
TitleComparative Genomics Shows That Mycobacterium ulcerans Migration and Expansion Preceded the Rise of Buruli Ulcer in Southeastern Australia. (2018)
AuthorsBuultjens AH;Vandelannoote K;Meehan CJ;Eddyani M;de Jong BC;Fyfe JAM;Globan M;Tobias NJ;Porter JL;Tomita T;Tay EL;Seemann T;Howden BP;Johnson PDR;Stinear TP;
JournalApplied And Environmental Microbiology
TitleXpert Ultra Can Unambiguously Identify Specific Rifampin Resistance-Conferring Mutations. (2018)
AuthorsNg KCS;van Deun A;Meehan CJ;Torrea G;Driesen M;Gabriels S;Rigouts L;Andre E;de Jong BC;
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
TitleThe Repetitive Element RLEP Is a Highly Specific Target for Detection of Mycobacterium leprae (2018)
AuthorsS. Braet;K. Vandelannoote;C. J. Meehan;A. N. Brum Fontes;E. Hasker;P. S. Rosa;N. Lucena Silva;L. Rigouts;P. N. Suffys;B. C. De Jong;
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
TitleGenome-Wide SNP Analysis Reveals Distinct Origins of Trypanosoma evansi and Trypanosoma equiperdum. (2017)
AuthorsCuypers B;Van den Broeck F;Van Reet N;Meehan CJ;Cauchard J;Wilkes JM;Claes F;Goddeeris B;Birhanu H;Dujardin JC;Laukens K;Büscher P;Deborggraeve S;
JournalGenome Biology and Evolution
TitleUnexpected high prevalence of resistance-associated Rv0678 variants in MDR-TB patients without documented prior use of clofazimine or bedaquiline. (2017)
AuthorsVillellas C;Coeck N;Meehan CJ;Lounis N;de Jong B;Rigouts L;Andries K;
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
TitleThe predominance of Ethiopian specific Mycobacterium tuberculosis families and minimal contribution of Mycobacterium bovis in tuberculous lymphadenitis patients in Southwest Ethiopia. (2017)
AuthorsTadesse M;Abebe G;Bekele A;Bezabih M;de Rijk P;Meehan CJ;de Jong BC;Rigouts L;
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
TitleGenomic characterization of Nontuberculous Mycobacteria. (2017)
AuthorsFedrizzi T;Meehan CJ;Grottola A;Giacobazzi E;Fregni Serpini G;Tagliazucchi S;Fabio A;Bettua C;Bertorelli R;De Sanctis V;Rumpianesi F;Pecorari M;Jousson O;Tortoli E;Segata N;
JournalScientific Reports
TitleThe new phylogeny of the genus Mycobacterium: The old and the news. (2017)
AuthorsTortoli E;Fedrizzi T;Meehan CJ;Trovato A;Grottola A;Giacobazzi E;Serpini GF;Tagliazucchi S;Fabio A;Bettua C;Bertorelli R;Frascaro F;De Sanctis V;Pecorari M;Jousson O;Segata N;Cirillo DM;
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
TitleMultiple Introductions and Recent Spread of the Emerging Human Pathogen Mycobacterium ulcerans across Africa. (2017)
AuthorsVandelannoote K;Meehan CJ;Eddyani M;Affolabi D;Phanzu DM;Eyangoh S;Jordaens K;Portaels F;Mangas K;Seemann T;Marsollier L;Marion E;Chauty A;Landier J;Fontanet A;Leirs H;Stinear TP;de Jong BC;
JournalGenome Biology and Evolution
TitleDiagnosis of Bacterial Bloodstream Infections: A 16S Metagenomics Approach. (2016)
AuthorsDecuypere S;Meehan CJ;Van Puyvelde S;De Block T;Maltha J;Palpouguini L;Tahita M;Tinto H;Jacobs J;Deborggraeve S;
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
TitleCharacterizing the Syphilis-Causing Treponema pallidum ssp. pallidum Proteome Using Complementary Mass Spectrometry. (2016)
AuthorsOsbak KK;Houston S;Lithgow KV;Meehan CJ;Strouhal M;Šmajs D;Cameron CE;Van Ostade X;Kenyon CR;Van Raemdonck GA;
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
TitleWhole genome sequencing reveals mycobacterial microevolution among concurrent isolates from sputum and blood in HIV infected TB patients. (2016)
AuthorsSsengooba W;de Jong BC;Joloba ML;Cobelens FG;Meehan CJ;
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
TitleWhole genome sequencing to complement tuberculosis drug resistance surveys in Uganda. (2016)
AuthorsSsengooba W;Meehan CJ;Lukoye D;Kasule GW;Musisi K;Joloba ML;Cobelens FG;de Jong BC;
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
TitleApolipoprotein L1 Variant Associated with Increased Susceptibility to Trypanosome Infection. (2016)
AuthorsCuypers B;Lecordier L;Meehan CJ;Van den Broeck F;Imamura H;Büscher P;Dujardin JC;Laukens K;Schnaufer A;Dewar C;Lewis M;Balmer O;Azurago T;Kyei-Faried S;Ohene SA;Duah B;Homiah P;Mensah EK;Anleah F;Franco JR;Pays E;Deborggraeve S;
TitleCharacterizing the Diverse Mutational Pathways Associated with R5-Tropic Maraviroc Resistance: HIV-1 That Uses the Drug-Bound CCR5 Coreceptor. (2015)
AuthorsJiang X;Feyertag F;Meehan CJ;McCormack GP;Travers SA;Craig C;Westby M;Lewis M;Robertson DL;
JournalJournal of Virology
TitleA Genomic Approach to Resolving Relapse versus Reinfection among Four Cases of Buruli Ulcer. (2015)
AuthorsEddyani M;Vandelannoote K;Meehan CJ;Bhuju S;Porter JL;Aguiar J;Seemann T;Jarek M;Singh M;Portaels F;Stinear TP;de Jong BC;
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
TitleInteractions in the microbiome: communities of organisms and communities of genes. (2014)
AuthorsBoon E;Meehan CJ;Whidden C;Wong DH;Langille MG;Beiko RG;
JournalFEMS Microbiology Reviews
TitleMicrobial shifts in the aging mouse gut (2014)
AuthorsLangille M.;Meehan C.;Koenig J.;Dhanani A.;Rose R.;Howlett S.;Beiko R.
TitleA phylogenomic view of ecological specialization in the Lachnospiraceae, a family of digestive tract-associated bacteria. (2014)
AuthorsMeehan CJ;Beiko RG;
JournalGenome Biology and Evolution
TitleBeing Aquifex aeolicus: Untangling a hyperthermophile's checkered past. (2013)
AuthorsEveleigh RJ;Meehan CJ;Archibald JM;Beiko RG;
JournalGenome Biology and Evolution
TitleThe evolution of the class A scavenger receptors. (2012)
AuthorsWhelan FJ;Meehan CJ;Golding GB;McConkey BJ;Bowdish DM;
JournalBMC Evolutionary Biology
TitleLateral gene transfer of an ABC transporter complex between major constituents of the human gut microbiome. (2012)
AuthorsMeehan CJ;Beiko RG;
JournalBMC Microbiology
TitleEmergence, dominance, and possible decline of CXCR4 chemokine receptor usage during the course of HIV infection. (2010)
AuthorsMeehan CJ;Hedge JA;Robertson DL;McCormack GP;Travers SA;
JournalJournal of Medical Virology