As part of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar Series, Oberlin’s own Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Lisa M. Ryno will present her sabbatical report on the topic, ‘‘Sabbatical Tales: Inhibiting Chaperones, Stressing Out Bacteria, and Detecting Antibiotics.’’
The seminar will be preceded by a light reception at 4:30 p.m. in the David Love Lounge.
Sponsored by the Luke E. Steiner Lecture Fund.
Antibiotic contamination in the environment is a persistent concern for the health of all living organisms. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria and genes can arise from the over-exposure of non-resistant bacteria to antibiotics, including exposure to low concentrations of antibiotics over an extended period.
Therefore, the detection of low concentrations of antibiotics is crucial for mitigating the development of new antibiotic-resistant strains and curtailing unknown environmental impact. Due to the rise of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, the search for antibiotics that work by targeting new and different cellular pathways is increasingly important.
The Ryno laboratory adopts a multifaceted approach to overcome these problems. We discovered small molecule inhibitors of the protein SurA, a critical E. coli periplasmic chaperone, using computational docking and biochemical assays. We are exploring the impact of transcriptional pathways on biofilm formation using scanning electron and confocal microscopy in conjunction with traditional biochemical techniques for the study of extracellular matrix components.
Finally, we are developing whole-cell sensors for detecting subinhibitory concentrations of antibiotics by exploiting stress-responsive signaling pathways. In this seminar, I will explain the current status of these projects as well as the future direction of our laboratory's research program.