Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic human pathogen with vast metabolic versatility and antibiotic resistance. Patients suffering from cystic fibrosis, cancer, AIDS, and severe burns are especially at risk for debilitating and life-threatening P. aeruginosa infections. The ability to model this pathogen and predict new therapeutic options will help physicians restock the diminishing set of antibiotics with effectiveness against P. aeruginosa. This seminar will demonstrate how a genome-scale metabolic model of this pathogen identified several novel drug targets and drug combinations with synergistic activity. These predictions were confirmed experimentally and may offer new treatment options for antibiotic-resistant strains of P. aerugznosa.
Paul Jensen is a graduate student in the department of biomedical engineering at the University of Virginia. His graduate work in the laboratory of Jason Papin focuses on computational and experimental approaches to develop mechanistic models of human pathogens on a genome scale. Jensen received bachelor's degrees in biomedical and chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota. He is supported by a National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship.