Functional and structural studies of the streptococcal virulence factor Group A carbohydrate biosynthesis pathway

Year of award: 2015


  • Dr Helge Dorfmueller

    University of Dundee

Project summary

Helge is a glycobiologist who focuses on exploring how carbohydrates are synthesised by the human-exclusive pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes. These bacteria cause common infections such as tonsillitis ('strep throat'). Importantly, mild infections can develop into life-threating diseases and current antibiotics are not sufficient to eradicate all mild and severe infections. Helge's research is aimed at uncovering the molecular mechanism underlying the biosynthesis of a novel bacterial virulence factor. He uses a multidisciplinary approach, combining molecular microbiology, enzymology, structural biology and inhibitor screening. This research forms the basis to ultimately develop inhibitors to prevent severe streptococcal infections in humans.