Dr Johanna Kenyon completed her PhD in microbiology at The University of Sydney in 2012. Her PhD project, in the laboratory of Prof. Peter Reeves FAA, focused on the genetics of polysaccharides produced by the bacterial pathogen, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.
In 2012, she took up a postdoctoral position at The University of Sydney with Prof. Ruth Hall OAM FAA, applying her skills in this field to unravel the complexities of surface polysaccharides produced by the nosocomial pathogen, Acinetobacter baumannii using whole genome sequence data.
Prior to this, little was known about A. baumannii polysaccharides, and her work established the foundations of this field through the characterisation of the genomic locus that directs the synthesis of the capsular polysaccharide (CPS).
Since this time, she has discovered two novel sugars in the CPS of A. baumannii that had never been found before in nature.
She joined Queensland University of Technology in 2015 as a Lecturer in Microbiology and Bioinformatics, and in 2018, was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) DECRA Fellowship to study the biosynthesis pathways of complex carbohydrates produced by A. baumannii.