We have around 1013 bacteria living in our bodies, a number comparable to the amount of human cells we possess. This community of bacteria inhabiting us is called the microbiota. The human microbiota can contribute to development, outcome and response to treatment of various diseases including cancer, bacterial and viral infections.

Why do some bacteria cause disease and can “take over” environments that they wouldn’t normally occupy? How can we keep good bacteria around and get rid or control the problematic ones?

Our research combines enzymology, structural biology, chemical biology and microbiology to understand how bacteria produce and use cyclic peptides in interspecies and interkingdom warfare and/or cooperation. Our purpose is to generate novel drugs, probes, carriers, and technologies that will allow us to control and modulate bacterial populations.

Combining enzymology, x-ray crystallography and thermodynamic studies we shed light into the mechanism of a macrocyclase enzyme, using this knowledge to produce more economic substrates