Departments & Divisions
Currently seeking M.S. & Ph.D. students.
Professor of Biochemistry and Structural Biology
Translational Applications: Tumor-Directed Drug Delivery Vehicles and Neurodegenerative Disease
We study the dynamics of the DNA packaging of bacterial viruses (bacteriophages, or phage). Our strategy is to detect, isolate and characterize intermediates in DNA packaging. This has led to (1) improved procedures for isolating environmental phages, with direct application to the phage therapy of infectious disease, (2) the isolation and characterization of capsids that have the characteristics needed for bypassing all limitations of current drug delivery vehicles and (3) translational concepts that lead to a proposed cause and therapy for neurodegenerative diseases and (4) translational concepts that suggest an improved strategy for generating anti-viral compounds with broad application.
Related diseases: Infectious Disease Caused by bacteria, Cancer, Neurodegenerative Disease (all of them), Infectious Disease caused by a virus.
Techniques: Techniques of bacterial and bacteriophage propagation, native gel electrophoresis (innovator in this area), preparative ultracentrifugation (innovator in this area), analytical ultracentrifugation (collaborative, Borries Demeler laboratory, University of Lethbridge), electron microscopy of thin sections and negative stained particles (innovator in this area), cryo-electron microscopy with symmetric and asymmetric reconstruction (collaborative: Wen Jiang laboratory, Purdue University), mass spectrometry (collaborative, Susan Weintraub laboratory, UT Health San Antonio), molecular dynamics simulation (collaborative: Paul Whitford laboratory, Northeastern University), microbial genome sequencing (collaborative, Julie Thomas laboratory, Rochester Institute of Technology).
Serwer, P., Wright, E.T, Schirf, V. and Demeler, B. Preparative and analytical centrifugation of phage assembly intermediates: Use of Nycodenz/Metrizamide for density gradients Bacteriophages: methods and protocols 2016 Jan;