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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Luz Andrea García Valencia

Luz Andrea

PhD Student



Project Title: Cryo-EM studies of bacterial DNA replication initiation mechanism. Towards novel antibiotic discovery


The rise in antibiotic resistance among pathogenic bacteria is affecting human and animal lives that has become a major cause for concern in the recent years. Currently drug resistance infections claim 50,000 lives in Europe, 80,000 lives in China and 700,000 lives globally per year, which is expected to rise.

The fundamental process that makes sure of the transfer of genetic material between generations is DNA replication. This process initiates at a specific chromosomal loci termed ‘oriC’ where a conserved initiator protein (DnaA) assemble on template DNA and direct loading of the replicative helicase. Interestingly, while the initiation pathway in both bacteria and eukaryotes culminates in helicase loading, the molecular mechanisms used to achieve this outcome appear to be distinct. The fact that this is unique among bacteria could be exploited and used towards the discovery of antibiotics targetting clinically important bacteria.
In this PhD project we intend to study, the protein-nucleic acid complexes involved in the replication initiation of pathogenic bacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinitobacter baumanni bacterial replication initiation that will provide new targets to tackle pathogenic bacteria.



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