New Zealand | Contact Jen
Development of DNA aptamers to Pseudomonas aeruginosa and their use to deliver nanosilver as a new anti-microbial approach
In 2017 the World Health Organisation ranked the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa as the second most significant threat to human health of all infectious organisms. This gram-negative bacterium is responsible for a wide variety of severe hospital-acquired infections and is intrinsically resistant to many antimicrobials.
We have isolated DNA aptamers that bind live P. aeruginosa that we have used as targeting agents to deliver medicinal nanosilver. We have conjugated aptamers with DNA scaffolds on which silver nanoclusters can form for the delivery of silver ions to the bacteria. We call these aptamer targeted antimicrobials ‘aptabiotics’ and are currently investigating their specificity and efficacy as a novel type of antimicrobial that circumvents conventional antibiotic resistance mechanisms.
New Zealand | Website | Contact Varun
Investigating the role of the apelinergic system in Glioblastoma
Glioblastoma is a highly debilitating brain cancer with a 12–14-month survival time. My research is exploring the apelinergic system, a peptide signalling system that has recently been shown to be an important factor in other cancers but has not been investigated in depth in glioblastoma. I hopes to shed some light on the potential roles of this system within the cancer.