Piermichele Kobauri

Chemical synthesis of antimicrobial ESR 1.5

Structure-based photopharmacology

The goal of this project is to use a photopharmacology approach to control antibiotic activity with light to achieve high precision activation and auto-deactivation to avoid environmental contamination of active ingredient and resistance build–up. Using a combination of synthetic, photochemical and cell biology methods various light-switches will be incorporated into antibiotics, their photoresponsive behavior studied and the modulation of biological activity tested. A similar approach will be followed for switchable quorum sensing molecules to control bacterial communication and biofilm formation with light.

Major challenges to be addressed in this PhD project include the design of switchable antibiotics with visible / near–IR photoswitching. This is an essential feature for deep tissue penetration in future clinical applications. Specifically, we focus on using modified azo-benzenes and novel photoswitches with extended conjugation. The novel photoswitches will also be incorporated in a selected series of bacterial quorum sensing molecules to control bacterial aggregation and biofilm formation.

Department: Stratingh Institute for Chemistry, RUG

Expertises: Structure-based drug design, docking, medicinal chemistry

Principal investigator(s): Prof. Dr. Ben Feringa

Contact: p.kobauri@rug.nl

Piermichele Kobauri