Development of antibiotic resistance "in the wild"

Immunology and Infectious Disease

The study of emergence of antibiotic resistance in real-life by modeling complex microbial communities, characterizing resistance in wastewater treatment, and simulating drug-protein interactions.

The study of antibiotic resistance is done typically by profiling interactions once resistance has already developed or in well-controlled, in vitro, mono-culture systems in the lab.  Such studies are far removed from the environments and situations these bacteria typically experience and they only provide a static glimpse of evolution without profiling understanding of how the resistance actually develops in "real-life" settings.  This project aims to better understand how such resistance emerges by (1) modeling and profiling bacteria in complex communities, (2) characterizing dynamics of resistance in wastewater treatment processes, and (3) simulating the molecular dynamics of drug-protein interactions in these settings.

Desired outcomes

Ultimately, we want to understand how antibiotic resistance develops so that we can develop strategies to mitigate the development of resistance.  The different facets of this project tackle this question from different scales.  There's a lot of synergy between the facets of this project that would lead to larger program activities (group grant applications and training opportunities).