Antimicrobial resistance was first reported in 1940 soon after the discovery of beta-lactam antibiotics in 1929. Since then, antimicrobial resistance is a rising global health threat and discovery of new drugs targeting different mechanisms of pathogenesis is an area of intense research. One mechanism of bacterial resistance is expression of the beta-lactamase protein, which hydrolyzes beta-lactam antibiotics rendering them ineffective. Despite the presence of some commercial inhibitors, beta-lactamases are continuously evolving and beta-lactamase continues to be an important drug target. I will talk about our recent work on fighting with beta-lactamase producing resistant bacteria. First, I will discuss our efforts on understanding beta-lactamase binding dynamics. I will describe the design and discovery of a beta-lactamase inhibitory peptide with antimicrobial and uptake properties. Last, I will describe our latest research on following beta-lactamase evolution using a ligand-centric network.
Elif Ozkirimli received her BS and MS degrees from Bogazici University Chemical Engineering Department. She got her PhD from the Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology Department Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program at Purdue University. Since 2007, she is a faculty member at Bogazici University Chemical Engineering Department.