Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology

albert_bolhuis

Senior Lecturer

7 West - 2.10

E-mail: A.Bolhuis@bath.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0) 1225 383813 

 

Dr Albert Bolhuis 

Profile

Research Interests

Prokaryotes transport large numbers of proteins that end up either on the cell surface or in the extracellular environment. These proteins play various roles in for instance the uptake of nutrients or virulence. Investigating these proteins and how they are secreted is a long-standing research theme of the group. In this we have a particular focus on Gram-positive organisms such as enterococci. The latter have emerged as opportunistic pathogens and are a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections. Enterococci are very tolerant to various adverse conditions. Moreover, many strains are also able to form biofilms, which are communities of cells that adhere to surfaces. Biofilms are more difficult to clear by our immune system and are also very resistant to antibiotics, which is why this is clinically very relevant. Biofilm formation, and in particular the role of surface structures in this process, is currently one of our main interests.

Another line of research is on antimicrobials. Antibiotic resistance is a major problem in healthcare, and it is thus very important to continuously look for novel compounds to combat pathogenic bacteria. Ideally, compounds are found to which bacteria do not become resistant. To that purpose, various strategies can be followed. In collaboration with chemists we have analysed various DNA-binding compounds, with the idea that at least it will be difficult for bacteria to develop resistance against DNA by altering its target. A number of these DNA-binding compounds have indeed antimicrobial activity and using the simple nematode infection model we have shown that some of the compounds are able to rescue the nematodes from infection with MRSA. That indicates not only that these compounds are active in vivo, but also that they are not particularly toxic to nematodes.

Our research is funded by the BBSRC and the University of Bath.

Publications

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