The development of bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a major problem for modern healthcare. A recent World Health Organization report stated: “resistance to common bacteria has reached alarming levels in many parts of the world and that in some settings, few, if any, of the available treatment options remain effective for common infections”. In other words the number of antibiotics that are still effective is quickly diminishing- new antibiotics are therefore urgently needed.
To design novel, effective and efficient antibiotics, it is imperative that we ask: (i) how do existing antibiotics work? (ii) How can we weaken the membranes that protect bacteria?
As a step towards addressing these questions, in this project we aim to simulate the process of antibacterial permeation through realistic models of bacterial membranes. Crucially, we shall adopt a multiscale approach in which fine-grained (atomistic-level) molecular dynamics simulations will be used to study specific interactions, and a more coarse-grained (molecular dynamics and dissipative particle dynamics) approach will be used to study larger, morphological behaviour. This project builds on our world-leading expertise in molecular modelling and simulation of bacterial membranes and includes collaboration with EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland.
If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Syma Khalid, Email: [email protected], Tel: +44 (0) 2380 594176.