Using host defense peptides and their synthetic analogs as alternative therapy for chronic infection caused by multi-drug resistant organisms

Principal Investigator: 
University: 
University of British Columbia
Faculty: 
Faculty of Science
Department: 
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Award Type: 

The discovery of antibiotics was one of the greatest advances in modern medicine, enabling control of infections. However, bacteria can develop antibiotic resistance over time, and become less sensitive to antibiotics. Without effective treatments, infections by these organisms can lead to prolonged illness, and routine surgeries can become life threatening. The lack of new antibiotics to combat the rapidly growing number of multi-drug resistant (MDR) organisms has become one of the most serious global health concerns. There is an urgent need to develop new therapeutic strategies against MDR organisms.

Dr. Choi’s research will investigate the potential use of a group of natural molecules known as host defence peptides as an alternative therapy to treat chronic infection caused by MDR organisms. The advantage of these peptides is that they do not directly target microorganisms; instead, these molecules promote the body’s immune system to fight against infections. This unique ability prevents microorganisms from developing resistance towards the peptides.

Results from this research will be an exciting example of alternative therapy to treat antibiotic resistant infections.

Research Pillar: 
Host Institution: 
University of British Columbia
Research Location: 
University of British Columbia
Supervisor: 
Robert Hancock
Year: 
2018