Francine Morris '00, an assistant professor of biology at Concordia College in New York, (along with Dr. Caren L. Freel Meyers) has developed a patented design strategy (Aromatic Acylphosphonates as Selective Inhibitors of DXP Synthase), that could lead to an entirely new class of antibiotic being developed, reports the college.
From the announcement:
Dr. Morris (along with Dr. Caren L. Freel Meyers) developed the patented strategy while working on her Ph.D. She demonstrated that it is possible to effectively target a particular protein within a microbe (bacteria are a type of microbe). Scientists had previously underestimated the potential of the protein upon which she focused her research.
The implication for antibiotic development is profound. Using Dr. Morris’s patented design strategy (Aromatic Acylphosphonates as Selective Inhibitors of DXP Synthase), an entirely new class of antibiotic could be developed, buying a much longer time frame before bacteria develop resistance to it.
Morris majored in chemistry at Bryn Mawr.