to the 85th St Anne’s College Domus Seminar
on Thursday 12 October 2023
at 5.30pm in the Mary Ogilvie Lecture Theatre
Learning how bacteria protect themselves using computer simulations
We have just witnessed a devastating viral pandemic caused by SARS-CoV2. There is a high degree of probability that the next pandemic may be caused by pathogenic bacteria.
Bacteria are simple single-celled organisms, yet the mechanisms they employ to protect themselves from harmful agents (including antibiotics) are anything but simple. Furthermore, they mutate and respond to external attack at an alarming rate and consequently many pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to all current antibiotics- thus the need to develop new antibiotics is urgent. To do so we must first understand how best to breach bacterial defence mechanisms.
The first line of defence for bacteria is the complex envelope that surrounds their cells. I will discuss how we use computer simulations to predict how small regions of these cell envelopes function and how this knowledge may provide clues for the development of antibiotics in the future.