Coralie Fumeaux, PhD
Tel: +41 21 314 77 43
Mobile: +41 79 556 36 27
Research area: Study of the cell envelope in Gram negative bacteria and the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance
Due to the emergence of multidrug resistant pathogenic bacteria, agriculture as well as animal and public health are threatened. There is an urgent need to discover new targets for the development of novel antimicrobial molecules.
The peptidoglycan (or cell wall) is an essential component of the bacterial cell envelope. This cross-linked polymer, which surrounds most bacterial cells, plays a crucial role, since it gives the cell its shape and more importantly prevents osmotic rupture of the cytoplasmic membrane. Many antibiotics inhibit peptidoglycan synthesis and therefore stop the growth and division of the bacteria, ultimately causing cell death. Unfortunately, little is known about the molecular mechanisms and regulation factors that drive peptidoglycan assembly and remodeling. In order to better understand how the cell wall is modified along the cell cycle, the lab couples genetic, microscopy and biochemistry approaches with the goal of identifying new potential targets for antimicrobial drug screening and development.
The lab focuses its research on three particularly threatening Gram negative species: Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Acinetobacter species. All three are listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the most critical antibiotic-resistant "priority pathogens" for which new antibiotic treatments are required.
Funding: These projects are funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (Prima grant), the Pierre Mercier Foundation and the Swiss Society for Cystic fibrosis (CFCH).