How Microbes Make Drug-like Molecules

Many life-saving drugs come from natural sources such as microbes. Learning how host organisms produce these drugs is an area of intense interest because scientists could exploit the pathways to produce more and better drug variants. Schmidt and colleagues have elucidated the mechanisms by which microbes produce one class of drug-like molecules, the Ribosomally-synthesized and Post-translationally modified Peptides (RiPPs). Continue reading → How Microbes Make Drug-like Molecules

Drug-Free Macromolecular Therapeutics

Monoclonal antibody therapy has numerous benefits but can lack efficacy, often because monovalent binding of antibodies to specific receptors fails to translate into an active response. The Kopeček laboratory has built on their track record in polymeric drug delivery to develop a novel approach to therapeutic design, termed “Drug-Free Macromolecular Therapeutics (DFMT)”. Continue reading → Drug-Free Macromolecular Therapeutics

Generation and Treatment of Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotics are responsible for the most significant increase in lifespan in human history. However, microbes are becoming resistant to antibiotics at an alarming rate. The Mulvey lab found that microbes within a single colonized site, such as the human bladder, can pass antibiotic resistance genes back and forth, propagating resistance as the infecting microbes evolve in response to serial antibiotic treatment. Continue reading → Generation and Treatment of Antibiotic Resistance

Developing New Chemical Reactions that Can Be Performed in Living Cells

The development of bioorthogonal chemical reactions—chemical reactions that can be conducted in living cells—has been one of the most significant areas of advancement in chemistry in recent years. Franzini and colleagues have developed a series of highly efficient chemical reactions, termed “dissociative bioorthogonal reactions”, that do just that. Continue reading → Developing New Chemical Reactions that Can Be Performed in Living Cells