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 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.
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
The Zininga Group focuses on investigating the role of molecular chaperones in protein folding in cells under stress. Our main focus is on the malaria agents Plasmodium spp. The parasites are dependent on a robust protein folding machinery for their survival in stressful environments. We hope to understand the parasite protein folding system and we intend to apply the knowledge to other diseases.