Main Nano Field:
Design, synthesis and characterization of antimicrobial peptide-like copolymers.
Host Defense Peptides
For over 20 years, my main research program has focused on developing integrated multidisciplinary approaches to study the multiform peptide function in biological systems, from isolation of peptides of interest from their natural source to mechanistic investigations and design of structural analogs with
improved properties. My lab’s recent efforts focus on peptide-based antimicrobials. Past the isolation and structural characterization stages of a native family, the dermaseptins, we now investigate their modes of action through structure-activity relationships studies using rational design strategies for chemical synthesis of structural analogs and mimetic systems. Our present goal is to correlate target sites interactions in-vitro (model membranes, proteins and nucleic acids) with in-vivo effects on pathogen and host cells, including via development of novel drug delivery systems that overcome multidrug resistance mechanisms in culture and animal models.