Digby Warne, Professor in the Division of Medical Microbiology, Department of Pathology, at the University of Cape Town, and Reseacher of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine will present the seminar “Taking a closer look at Mycobacterium tuberculosis for new TB drug discovery and development” next Thursday May 17th at 12h.
Understanding Mycobacterium tuberculosis physiology and evolution is critical to the development of new therapeutic approaches (including novel antibiotics) for tuberculosis (TB), a leading cause of mortality owing to a single infectious agent and source of one-third of all antimicrobial resistant deaths. In this talk, Digby Warner will discuss recent work utilizing molecular tools in combination with advanced microscopy to investigate cellular and genetic function in mycobacteria. In the first example, CRISPR interference and quantitative, image-based analyses have been applied to develop morphological profiles (“phenoprints”) that can be used to suggest hypothetical gene function and to infer drug mechanism-of-action. The second centres on attempts to develop so-called “anti-evolution” compounds that might limit the capacity for resistance acquisition by targeting the mycobacterial mutasome, a mutagenic DNA repair system that has been implicated in DNA damage-induced drug resistance and host adaptation in M. tuberculosis. These two examples highlight the utility of image-based analyses in elucidating gene function in mycobacteria, and suggest the potential for analogous approaches to be applied to drug mechanism-of-action studies as well as the identification of novel targets that might potentiate and/or protect existing anti-TB agents.
This seminar will take place at Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade de Lisboa (Room Anfiteatro A).