Our group focuses on the discovery and characterisation of essential biochemical, metabolic and pharmacological processes at both the molecular and cellular levels in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb).
A large body of evidence indicates that Mtb's metabolism has drifted away from its ancestors due to the last tens of thousands of years living in humans as its sole natural reservoir.
This case of extreme niche adaptation has re-shaped its entire metabolic network to survive and infect humans and made Mtb naturally resistant to several antibiotics commonly used to treat other bacterial infections.
In addition to basic science, research on tuberculosis is of key medical importance. One third of the world's population is estimated to be infected by Mtb, the causative agent of human tuberculosis. At present, tuberculosis is the leading cause of death by a single bacterial pathogen worldwide, killing 2 million people yearly.
Furthermore, a clear synergy exists between infection with Mtb and HIV/AIDS, underscoring the need for a deeper understanding of the disease process and the development of new treatments. Our studies will lead to a better understanding of M. tuberculosis biochemistry, metabolism, pathogenesis and antibiotic pharmacology. This knowledge will accelerate the development of novel approaches to treat tuberculosis in the future.
We take advantage of a variety of techniques and methods from microbiology, genetics, infection biology, chemistry, biochemistry, mass spectrometry, biophysics, structural biology and pharmacology.