The Biopep Peptide group investigates resistance towards, mechanism of action and structure-activity relationships (SAR) of antimicrobial peptides and membrane active antibiotics, using both natural and novel synthetic compounds. These antimicrobials are directed against a number of targets such as resistant bacterial pathogens in particular Listeria monocytogenes, fungal plant pathogens, as well as parasites causing malaria (Plasmodium falciparum) and African sleeping sickness (Trypanosoma brucei).
The Strauss Lab's core research efforts are in the multidisciplinary field of Chemical Biology. We mainly focus on the chemistry and biology of the ubiquitous metabolic cofactor Coenzyme A, and on low molecular weight thiol-dependent redox biology. We also apply the expertise we gain in this manner to the design and development of new antibiotic agents – especially those that target diseases relevant in the African health context.
The De Villiers group focuses on
investigating Coenzyme A biosynthesis and utilization as an
anti-parasitic drug target. Our main focus at the moment is on Plasmodium spp. with an interdisciplinary approach utilizing Chemical Biology.