Drug Discovery and Development
Researchers in the School are integrating basic and applied science in the idenification of new biomarkers and novel therapeutic targets which will determine future pathways of diagnosis and treatment. Emphasis is placed on targeted drug therapy, where drugs are tailored to the genetic make-up of the individual, an approach known as personalised medicine.
Novel drugs and mechanisms of delivery are being developed for renal disease, cardiovascular disease, diseases of the nervous system including retinopathies (diseases of the eye) and various types of cancer.
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Chronic infection is the hallmark of cystic fibrosis lung disease. I have a key interest in respiratory pathogens that cause opportunistic infections in cystic fibrosis patients and in vaccine development. In particular, I focus on Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc). This is a highly antimicrobial resistant pathogen and effective treatments are challenging. As a result of our investigations on the mechanisms of attachment of Bcc to lung epithelial cells, we identified a number of bacterial adhesins, which are potential vaccine candidates. These antigens protect mice against Burkholderia and have potential as novel vaccine antigens. I also have an interest host responses of epithelial cells, mechanisms of pathogenesis and mechanisms of bacterial adaptation which facilitate chronic colonisation. We also investigate two other pathogens associated with CF-infections, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and genus Pandoraea.
Keywords: Chronic lung infection; cystic fibrosis; vaccine development; host-microbial interactions; pathogenesis; adaptation.
Research Interests: Memory function; neuropsychiatric disease; neurotherapeutics; Multiple Sclerosis.
Research Interests: biotherapeutics; biotechnology; activity of the calcium binding protein secretagogin in neuronal cells; protein networks.