Multidrug Resistant Infections

Multidrug resistant infections are a global health concern and pose a serious threat to vulnerable populations including those with compromised immune systems, infants, and the elderly. In fact, a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims that each year at least 2 million people in the U.S. contract an antibiotic resistant infection, of which nearly 23,000 result in fatality. We have chosen to focus on Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which have been identified as posing serious threats with respect to human health and antibiotic resistance. In the Meier Lab, our goal is to better understand the mechanisms of metalloenzymes that have previously been shown to play crucial roles in virulence enhancement and drug resistance. By defining the metal-binding sites and mechanisms of these systems, we will be better equipped to identify trends across Given that more than 30% of all characterized enzymes are metal-dependent yet less than 5% of the nearly 1500 FDA approved drugs target metalloenzymes, this work represents a critical shift in our approach to identify potential drug targets and guide the design of a generalizable mechanism based therapeutic approach.

Antibiotic Resistance lab sample