Infectious diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. Not only are new infectious diseases emerging, but the re-emergence of deadly infectious diseases, and the increasing prevalence of antimicrobial resistant strains, present a threat to public health and welfare.
The current projects in the group include
1. To understand the molecular basis of transcriptional regulation of the different genes involved in the bacterial DNA synthesis.
2. Unravel the molecular mechanisms of bacterial virulence and biofilm formation. To understand the physiology of bacteria growing in a biofilm.
3. New drug delivery systems to kill bacteria living in biofilms - Treatment of chronic bacterial infections.
4. Discovery of new antimicrobial therapies to combat bacterial infections by the application of nanomedicine techniques.
5. To develop new systems to mimic bacterial wound healing infections.
6. To develop bacterial vaccines.
7. Developing phage therapy to treat chronic bacterial infections.
The focus of our study is to understand how these genes are regulated, their importance in pathogenesis and the identification of new compounds to specifically inhibit its activity and therefore inhibit specifically bacterial growth during the infection process.
When a bacteria invade a specific organism during infection need de novo synthesis of deoxyribonucleotides for DNA replication and cell proliferation. The synthesis of the four deoxyribonucleotides is catalyzed by the enzyme ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) via a radical-based mechanism. RNR has been extensively studied as an ideal target for inhibiting cell replication.
The laboratory is deeply involved in the use of nanoparticles (new drug delivery systems) to eradicate chronic bacterial infections (ex. cystic fibrosis, COPD, etc.).
In summary, we are working on new mechanisms to treat bacterial infections by the use of different nanotechnology applications and techniques to deliver and destroy bacterial infecting cells.