Presented by Howard C. Hang
B.S., Harvey Mudd College
Analysis of Small Molecule Inhibitors Aimed at Bacterial Virulence
Humans are constantly exposed to bacteria. The colonization of our tissues with beneficial microbes after birth can help our metabolism and shape our immune system. Unfortunately, we also occasionally encounter harmful bacteria that can cause deadly diseases. As you may know from the World Health Organization and general press, we are running out of ways to treat bacterial infections due to increasing resistance to currently available antibiotics and a limited pipeline of new drugs. My laboratory has therefore been interested in developing molecules that selectively disarm bacterial pathogens without killing the helpful commensal bacteria.
Toward this goal, Paul Dossa was the first graduate in my laboratory to embark on the discovery and characterization of drug-like compounds that can block specific pathways in bacterial pathogens required for infection. During his thesis studies, Paul helped discover and characterize small molecules from medicinal plants that can inhibit infection from bacterial pathogens such as Salmonella typhimurium. Paul’s thesis work has also helped understand the mechanism of action for other synthetic molecules that can inhibit Salmonella infection, which has yielded a new class of drug-like molecules for the development of anti-infectives in the future. His work has paved an important foundation for future studies on anti-infective molecules in my laboratory.
I would like to thank him for his contributions and wish him the best in the future.