The laboratory conducts research in biology and medicine to solve several important basic and applied goals.
Main research projects in the laboratory are split into two major directions.
1) The study of virulence of enterobacteria Salmonella and Serratia and the development of conceptually novel antibacterial strategies to fight antibiotic-resistant strains of pathogenic bacteria.
2) Investigation of genetic bases of telomere maintenance in mammalian and plant cells. This research is aimed to determine evolutionarily conserved genetic factors pre-determining unique aging rate for individuals and predisposition to cancer, stress and other aging-associated diseases.
Direction 1. Bacterial efflux-systems and novel anti-bacterial therapies
This project is conducted in collaboration with the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology at Texas A&M University (College Station, TX, USA)
The Principle Investigator is Dr. Lydia Bogomolnaya, Ph.D.
The emergence of bacterial multi-drug resistance is a growing problem of public health worldwide. Bacterial drug resistance results in severe infections, complications, increased frequency of hospitalizations, economic losses due to prolonged hospital stays. Moreover, bacterial drug resistance is currently on the rise while the rate of new antibiotic discovery is steadily declining. Despite significant progress in understanding the mechanisms leading to development of drug resistance, there is still a big gap in our knowledge of fundamental bases of this process. Research in our laboratory focuses on understanding bacterial strategies to withstand an oxidative stress in drug resistance pathways. An additional direction of research is focused on identification of microbial metabolites required for virulence of enteric bacteria and on characterization of the corresponding biosynthetic pathways.
1. Development of a bacterial model system to study antibiotic resistance;
2. Evaluation of clinical significance of drug efflux pumps in bacteria with multiple drug resistance;
3. Characterization of bacterial secondary metabolites and their impact on virulence;
4. The role and application of siderophores in medical clinical research
5. Developing new strategies to fight multidrug resistant bacteria
Direction 2. "Molecular mechanisms of aging, telomere maintenance and cellular stress response"
This project is conducted in collaboration with the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at Texas A&M University (College Station, TX, USA) and Department of Integrated Biology at University of Texas at Austin (Austin, Texas, USA).
The Principle Investigator is Dr. Eugene Shakirov, Ph.D.
The project aims to understand the genetic bases of telomere maintenance and homeostasis of human and plant cells. Specifically, our objective is to decipher the molecular mechanisms of predisposition to aging and aging-associated diseases by characterizing evolutionarily conserved principles of telomere length regulation and cellular mechanisms of stress resistance.
1) The study of natural genetic polymorphism in telomere length control. Specifically, our research aims to identify and characterize specific genes regulating telomere length on eukaryotic chromosomes and playing important roles in the development of aging-associated diseases.
2) Analysis of cellular resistance and adaptation to stress through the use of genomic, proteomic, metabolomic and transcriptomic assays. The project takes advantage of original microbial biotechnologies to develop and study plants with improved ability to grow in the conditions of high nutritional stress and limited phosphorus availability.
3) The influence of specific antioxidants glutathione and ascorbate on cell cycle and telomere length in human and plant cells.