Antibiotic resistance is emerging more and more frequently in hospitals and communities. As a consequence, antimicrobial substances with novel and underexploited mechanisms of action are urgently needed.
My main line of research is looking at discovering novel natural products, with particular interest in antibiotic compounds. The source that I am using to this extent is a group of soil bacteria called Streptomyces. Currently about 75% of antibiotics used in human medicine come from this group of microorganisms. However, it is recognized that to date only a small fraction of the natural products "encrypted" at the DNA level in these bacteria may have been exploited. By the means of genetic engineering I am aiming to turn on the production of secondary metabolites that are under control of Arpa-like transcriptional repressors. This does facilitate their identification and characterization, and has the potential to supply us with novel antimicrobial substances to be introduced in the pipeline for development of new antibiotics.