William Shafer, Ph.D.
Antimicrobial Resistance and Therapeutic Discovery Training Program
Department of Microbiology, Emory University School of Medicine
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Genetics of antibiotic resistance; antimicrobial peptides; transcriptional regulation of gene expression; mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis. The Shafer laboratory is interested in proteins produced Neisseria gonorrhoeae that form drug efflux pumps that export antimicrobial compounds to the extracellular fluid. We are also interested in the molecular regulation of the expression of their genes as this is a critical component in bacterial survival during infection and antibiotic therapy. We are also defining the structure function relationships of cationic antibacterial peptides produced by neutrophils and certain epithelial cells. These peptides are thought to be important in host defense against infection and bacteria have developed multiple ways to counteract their antibacterial action. Using Neisseria gonorrhoeae as a model target pathogen to better understand the mechanisms of peptide killing and bacterial resistance, we are isolating and studying mutants that express altered levels of susceptibility to human host defense antibacterial peptides
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