New antibacterial approaches
Antibiotics have been the backbone of medical advances and treatment for decades but this ability to kill harmful bacteria is threatened, both now and in the future, by the development of resistance in those bacteria to these lifesaving drugs. The problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global issue with acknowledged importance equivalent to climate change and is predicted to be responsible for more deaths than cancer by 2050. We urgently need to develop new antibiotics and use the existing ones available in a more closely regulated and precise way.
Many of the more successful modern antibiotics (penicillin-based drugs) target a part of bacterial metabolism which is unique to them, the biosynthesis of the bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan.
In this study Mr Souvik Naskar working within a team at Warwick University School of Life Sciences will focus on an aspect cell wall biosynthesis that is also a vital component of the way in which the bacteria divide in the first place, linking these two processes for the first time. The team have already made substantive progress and have produced the basic biological tools that will allow the team to understand this process at an atomic level. With this knowledge in hand, they may also be able to investigate the design of new treatments attacking this process in a completely new way, potentially providing a path to new antibacterial approaches.
The funding provided by the Medical and Life Sciences Research Fund will provide vital reagents, access to equipment and international expertise required to push this research forward.