Dr. Dennis Awarded Research Grant From the National Science Foundation.
|Dr. Dennis and Ms. Eisenhour discuss their
latest experimental results.
|Scanning electron micrograph of
Escherichia coli cells.
The National Science Foundation has
awarded a research grant in the amount of $198,966 to Dr. Doug Dennis, chair of
the Biology & Chemistry Department.
The grant, “Molecular
and AFM Analysis of a Novel Periplasmic Structure” will enable Dennis and his
students to pursue studies on the structural analysis of Gram-negative
bacterial cells. In their preliminary work
the Dennis lab has developed a novel lysis procedure that exposes surfaces of
bacterial cells that have not been imaged prior to this time. Their atomic force analyses suggest that
there are subcellular structures that have yet to be described in the
literature. This could be important in
future studies because most bacterial antibiotics are targeted to specific cell
structures that are not present in human or animal cells. The description of a new structure,
therefore, represents a new target for antibiotic therapy.
Dennis lab is staffed by a technician, Lynn Eisenhour, a graduate student,
Smita Joshi, and several undergraduates working on the project; Tiffany Stacy,
Sofeia Aslam, Slim Khouja, and Mallory Mattingly. Their efforts during their period of the
research award will be focused on the characterization of novel subcellular
structures at the nanoscale employing atomic force microscopy and field
emission scanning electron microscopy as well as molecular characterization of
the surface of these structures using proteomics and immunogold-scanning
research is also supported by two sub-awards from NIH-KBRIN (5P20RR016481-10),
as well as an Academic Research Enhancement Award from the National Institutes
of Health (1R15GM085749-01) and an AREA supplement, also from the National
Institutes of Health (3R15GM085749-01S1).