Morphology, Taxonomy, and Systematics of "Tetraphyllidean" Cestodes in Batoids
Metal Binding Antimicrobial Peptides as Potential Novel Antibiotics
It is imperative to develop novel antibiotic therapies due to the increasing global prevalence of antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria. One class of molecules known as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) is particularly promising due to their broad-spectrum activity. However, their use has been limited due to toxicity to eukaryotic cells. My undergraduate thesis project focused on a method to reduce this AMP toxicity through design of a pro-drug AMP with increased selectivity due to pathogen-specific proteolytic activation. Staphylococcus aureus was the focus of this method, as it is a significant and increasingly antibiotic-resistant pathogen and secretes a protease, glutamyl endopeptidase V8.
Publications: Portelinha, J., Heilemann, K., Jin, J., Angeles-Boza, A.M. Unraveling the implications of multiple histidine residues in the potent antimicrobial peptide Gaduscidin-1. Submitted to ACS Chemical Biology. Portehlinha, J., Duay, S.S., Heilemann, K., Klepinger, J., Klasses, J.L., Angeles-Boza, S.M. Antimicrobial peptides and metal ions: novel therapeutic opportunities. Submitted to Chemical Reviews.