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Biology & Chemistry Joint Seminar - Dr. Brad Wallar, Grand Valley State University

This is a past event.

Friday, January 31, 2020 3pm

263 College Avenue, Holland, MI 49423-3646

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Abstract: Resistance to β-lactam antibiotics is a major threat to public health. Much of this resistance is due to expression of β-lactamase enzymes that hydrolyze the lactam ring, thereby inactivating the antibiotic. Dr. Brad Wallar and his research group are focused on the structure, function, and inhibition of class C β-lactamases. These enzymes play an important role in the multidrug-resistance of Acinetobacter baumannii; an organism that presents one of the greatest challenges to contemporary antimicrobial chemotherapy, as noted by the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. The class C β-lactamase enzymes in A. baumannii, known as Acinetobacter-derived cephalosporinases (ADCs), can bind and inactivate a wide range of antibiotics. In collaboration with researchers from GVSU, Case Western Reserve University, and Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia (Italy), the Wallar lab is working on the design, characterization, and optimization of an emerging class of novel inhibitors for improved activity against the class C β-lactamases.

Biography: Brad Wallar received his B.S. at the University of Michigan - Flint in 1993. After a year of graduate studies at Colorado State University, he completed graduate studies in the laboratory of John Lipscomb at the University of Minnesota where he earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics training in 2000.  He then went on to a three year postdoctoral fellowship in the Cell Structure & Signal Integration Laboratory of Art Alberts at Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids.  In the summer of 2003, he joined the faculty at Grand Valley State University where he is currently a professor in the Department of Chemistry. The Wallar group focuses on the structure/function studies of β-lactamases, the class of enzymes that are responsible for bacterial resistance to numerous types of β-lactam antibiotics, such as penicillins and cephalosporins.

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