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Dr. Candice Klug Receives Grant to Investigate the Structure and Function of Essential Bacterial Proteins Involved in Generating the Outer Membranes of Cells

Candice Klug_News Article

Candice Klug, PhD, professor of biophysics, was awarded a four-year, $1.4 million competing renewal R01 grant titled “Lpt protein-mediated transport of LPS” from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

For this project, Dr. Klug will study the structure and function of essential bacterial proteins involved in generating the outer membrane of cells with the long-term goal of developing antibiotics against these potential drug targets. Endotoxin, or lipopolysaccharide (LPS), from important disease-causing bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa induces severe septic shock in humans and can quickly lead to inflammatory disease and/or death. Endotoxin is required for the survival of these bacteria; thus, the proteins and interactions involved in its transport within the bacterium are exciting potential new targets for novel antibiotics.

The aim of this project is to use structural biology and microbiology assays to obtain a detailed understanding of how the endotoxin-transport proteins move endotoxin within the cell as a foundation for the future development of inventive antibiotics against pathogenic bacteria. Dara Frank, PhD, professor of microbiology & immunology, is a collaborator on this project.