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A fresh approach to antibacterial drug discovery for drug-resistant infections

Eric Brown

2020 Killam Research Fellow

There have been no new antibiotics discovered in more than 30 years and the effectiveness of existing drugs is in steep decline due to drug-resistant infections. My research group is investigating uncharted biology in bacteria, aiming to provide fresh directions for new antibacterial therapies.

Many health professionals consider the rampant proliferation of drug-resistant pathogens to be one of the most serious challenges facing the health care systems of the 21st century. No new antibiotics have been discovered in thirty years, and several strains of drug-resistant bacteria have effectively become untreatable with currently available antibiotics. Eric Brown has focused his research on examining the structures and properties of outer cell membranes of certain Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria. He and his research team seek to discover new chemical compounds which will weaken the natural defenses found in the cell walls of these bacteria. This research promises to increase the efficacy of current antibiotic treatments, allowing them to be used once again in the fight against these pathogens.

[photo credit: Georgia Kirkos]

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