2005 Basic Research in Periodontal Disease Award

03/02/05

Baltimore, Maryland...Dr. Michael Curtis, Professor of Microbiology at St. Bartholomews & the Royal London, Centre for Infectious Disease, and the Institute of Cell and Molecular Science in London, England, has been selected to receive the 2005 Basic Research in Periodontal Disease Award from the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), convening here today for its 83rd General Session.

Dr. Curtis is a member of the British Division of the IADR. He is also a member of the IADR Microbiology/Immunology Research Group and has served as its President. Additionally, he has provided leadership in periodontal disease research as Chairman of the Periodontal Disease Gordon Research Conference. Professor Curtis' research group is focused in two areas: microbial protease function and the mechanism and role of glycosylation of bacterial virulence determinants. Bacterial protease research concentrates on characterization of the structure and genetics of proteolytic enzymes of the periodontal pathogen, Porphyromonas gingivalis. To examine the hypothesis that bacterial protease inhibitors can act as specific antimicrobials, the group has developed close collaboration with a biotechnology company, Medivir. This partnership aims to determine molecular targets for protease inhibitor design using a genome-screening approach. In the case of bacterial virulence determinants, glycosylation is likely to play an important role in interactions of the pathogen with the host. Research in this area examines the genetic machinery of glycosylation in Gram-negative bacteria and the role of these modifications in host-parasite interactions

Source: Eurekalert & others

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