Heras - Bacterial virulence factors: structure and function

Group leader

Begoña HerasDr Begoña Heras

Australian Research Council Future Fellow, College of Science, Health and Engineering

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Research overview

The last few decades have witnessed an explosion in the rates of antibiotic resistant bacterial infections. Meanwhile, the antibiotics development pipeline has declined; only two new antibiotics have been approved since 2009. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently released a report stating that "antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat" and urging governments to introduce initiatives to tackle bacterial infections to avoid returning to the pre-antibiotic era where bacterial infections were virtually untreatable.

Our research program examines the molecular mechanisms underlying Gram-negative bacterial infections. We use a multidisciplinary approach combining X-ray crystallography, molecular biology and biochemistry to investigate the structure-function relationships in proteins involved in bacterial pathogenesis and develop antibacterial drugs with novel modes of action.

Research areas