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Bacteriophages, or phages (viruses that infect bacteria) are the most abundant life-associated entities on earth, being found in all niches inhabited by bacteria.
Phages comprise an important component of the human microbiome and profoundly influence the dynamics and pathogenic potential of bacteria within our bodies. Since phages can efficiently kill bacteria in a highly strain-specific fashion, the potential for their use in treating bacterial infections is being actively explored.
In our laboratory, we are investigating the use of phage tail derived bactericidal agents, known as tailocins, for combatting antibiotic resistant bacteria and for manipulating the human microbiome. We are also studying the ways in which phages influence the physiology and virulence of bacterial strains.
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Presenter: Dr. Alan Davidson
Dr. Davidson has been a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto since 1995. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto for studies on bacteriophage DNA packaging, and then did a post-doctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology studying protein folding. His laboratory uses a multi-disciplinary approach for studying phages, which involves structural biology, bioinformatics, molecular genetics, and in vivo studies.
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