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James Harrison

Establishment of a fluorescent resonance transfer assay (FRET) for Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is a global health challenge. Multi-drug, extensively drug resistant cases of TB are increasing and in the case of totally drug resistant there are no successful therapeutic regimens available. We urgently require new chemical tools to understand the biology and physiology of the Mtb pathogen in order to develop new drugs and diagnostics.

The aim of this project is to develop a single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) assay for the Mtb-UspC protein in order to quantify the kinetic mechanisms and conformational dynamics of this protein. Importantly, this FRET assay has the potential for screening of inhibitors of this essential Mtb ABC-transporter system.


Dr James Harrison undertook a PhD with Professor Del Besra and Dr Luke Alderwick (Birmingham) and during this time biochemically characterised pivotal enzymes involved in the cell wall biosynthesis of Mtb.

James has expert skills in recombinant protein production, assay development, protein-ligand binding experiments along with standard microbiology techniques, including the growth of mycobacteria.