Projects

BACTERIOCIN DRUG DISCOVERY. Our primary research focus is in the discovery and development of bacteriocins for use in human and animal health and agricultural applications.

We have studies focused on the discovery of bacteriocins active against several human pathogens, including:

- The ESKAPE pathogens (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species) are the leading cause of nosocomial infections throughout the world

- Mycobacteria tuberculosis (Tuberculosis),

- Escherichia coli (Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections), and

- Staphylococcus aureus (skin infections).

We also focus on agricultural pathogens, including:

- Pseudomonas syringae (Bacterial speck),

- Erwinia amylovora (Fire blight) and

- Ralstonia spp (Bacterial wilt).

STUDENT START-UPS. Many of our student teams create biotech start-ups to move their discoveries into preclinical trials. To date these companies have raised over $200,000 in prize money. The following companies have been created.

- Bac-B-Gone - MRSA is an antibiotic resistant bacteria that kills thousands of people a year in hospitals across the USA. Our company, Bac-Be-Gone, creates products that immediately eliminate MRSA on contact. Our cleaning products save lives. The founders are Hadley Beauregard, Hailey Charest, Bryanna Frietas and Margaret Riley. Bac-B-Gone won the top prize of $41,000 in the
2020 UMass Innovation Competition

- Organicin Scientific - Student founded start-up, Organicin Scientific, wins third prize and $6000 in the 2019 Innovation Competition. The venture aspires to combat the “slow-motion tsunami” of increasing microbial resistance to antibiotics. To that end, the team is developing revolutionary proteins that target the culprits while avoiding collateral damage to the local microbiome. The founders are Mathew Mitchell, Griffin Driscoll and Margaret Riley 2019 UMass Innovation Competition

- Bacteriotix - a five-member team of students and alumni that is pioneering narrow spectrum antimicrobial agents to treat difficult bacterial infections, won first place and $30,000 in the 2011 UMass Innovation Competition. The founders are Sandra Robinson, Christopher Roy, Suphan Bakkal, Jenna Farrell, Shanika Collins and Margaret Riley
2011 Umass Innovation Competition

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