We use chemical engineering principles to develop mathematical theories that help us understand and engineer biological systems. We focus on new antibiotic technologies to treat bacterial gastrointestinal infections. We engineer probiotic bacteria to produce antimicrobial peptides and deliver the potent antibiotic proteins in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals.
We engineer probiotic L. lactis to produce antimicrobial peptides that target Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, a major nosocomial pathogen. We experiment with mice to prove that our probiotics eliminate Enterococci from the GI tract of mice. We engineer probiotic E. coli to produce a peptide that eliminates Salmonella enterica. We have tested our technology in poultry and have shown that our probiotics can eliminate carriage of salmonella in the gut of poultry. This a major advance that contributes to food safety.
We conduct foundational research on: