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Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Program
Phase 7 (2017 Deadline)

Molecular characterization and drug design targeting emerging pathogenic bacteria of Pakistan and development of an access application for the health care industry
US Partner: Alexander MacKerell, University of Maryland
Pakistan Partner: Syed Sikander Azam, Quaid-i-Azam University
Project summary
This project will develop novel, effective antibacterial therapies that can be readily translated for clinical use. It will develop web-enabled technology to allow for rapid collection and real-time analysis of novel resistant pathogens identified in hospital settings.

Progress Report

Resistance to the antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections is a worldwide problem that is particularly prevalent in Pakistan. To overcome this problem it is important to quickly identify new resistant bacterial infections and develop new antibiotics to treat those infections. To facilitate this process, our program is developing a web portal that will allow physicians throughout Pakistan to submit information on new resistant bacteria into a central database. This information may be used to make other physicians aware of these resistant bacteria.

In addition, information on the DNA sequences of the resistant bacteria will be obtained and novel target proteins in the strain of bacteria will be identified. Modern computer-aided drug design approaches combined with chemical synthesis and biological experiments will then be applied to identify and optimize new chemical compounds that can bind to the target protein and block its activity, thereby stopping the bacterial infection. These chemical compounds may then be tested in clinical trials and potentially become new antibiotics for the treatment of resistant bacterial infections.