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    Research Interests

    Research in my group aims to elucidate the mechanistic and biochemical pathways central to the process of microbial biofilm formation and to uncover novel targets for prevention of microbial biofilms particularly ‘druggable’ protease targets; spanning medicinal chemistry, microbiology, chemical biology, and synthetic chemistry directed toward antimicrobial and anti-biofilm applications. My main interests include the role of proteolytic enzymes as targets for small molecule inhibitor design to modulate the process of biofilm formation (lasB in P. aeruginosa biofilm formation) and virulence (ZapA, Proteus mirabilis UTI), development of novel approaches for biofilm control in chronic infections (synthesis of novel biocides, ionic liquids, ultrashort antimicrobial peptides and non-thermal plasma) and control of medical device associated infections. We have an active research interest in antibiotic biodiscovery from marine bacteria and achaea. Recently my group has developed a unique and exciting programme of halophile research, based on isolation of novel extreme halophiles from 250M year old halite evaporites from Kilroot Saltmine, N. Ireland.  This research has already yielded promising lead antimicrobial and quorum sensing inhibitory compounds, novel proteases and other enzymes relevant to API synthesis. In collaboration with the Centre for Plasma Physics, we are elucidating the mechanisms of action of Atmospheric Pressure, Non Thermal Plasma (APNTP) in biofilm control, with an aim to developing clinical applications of this exciting technology.

    Willingness to take PhD students

    Yes

    PhD projects

    Open to PhD applications in the field of biofilm microbiology, antimicrobial discovery, bacterial protease biochemistry, host pathogen interactions, microbial biocatalysis.

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    Frequent Journals

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    Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

    ID: 31880