THE DIVIDING CELL MEMBRANE: A PROMISING TARGET FOR.. (DIVANTI)
THE DIVIDING CELL MEMBRANE: A PROMISING TARGET FOR NOVEL ANTIBIOTICS
Start date: Aug 1, 2013,
End date: Jul 31, 2017
"The world wide rise in multidrug resistant pathogens is a major healthcare problem, and both the World Health Organization and European Union have identified antimicrobial resistance as a public health priority. The number of novel antibiotics that enter the clinic has dwindled over the last decades, and the development of new antibiotics is urgent. Cell division is a logical antimicrobial drug target, yet there are currently no clinically approved compounds that target this process. One of the main reasons is that bacterial cell division, and especially the role of the cell membrane in this process, is poorly understood. Moreover, cell division is a robust process, and many potential lead compounds are likely to be missed in drug screens. The aim of my research is to elucidate molecular mechanisms of cell division, and to use this knowledge to support the development of novel antimicrobial compounds. I have made several discoveries that provide an excellent basis to pursue these objectives: (i) the discovery of an important cell division protein, (ii) the discovery that the membrane potential is involved in cell division, and (iii) the discovery that membrane curvature can function as a cue for protein localization. My research project will be (1) focused on the interplay between cell division proteins and the cell membrane, and (2) aimed at supporting the search for new antimicrobials. I will develop novel functional assays to detect cell division inhibitors, and I will develop assays to find compounds that kill non-growing cells. In addition, I will set up state-of-the-art bacterial cell biology assays to study, in real time, the effects of antimicrobials at the cellular level. This research will not only support the Biopharma industry in their search for next generation antibiotics but may also result in new food-grade antimicrobials for the Food industry."
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