Inspiring Minds seeks to broaden awareness and impact of graduate student research, while enhancing transferable skills. Students were challenged to describe their research, scholarship or creative activity in 150 or fewer words to share with our community.
Humans are colonized by billions of bacteria but remain healthy because most microorganisms do not cause disease and the immune system is effective at eliminating microbes that enter our body. But some bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus can thwart the immune system’s defenses and cause disease. To treat these infections, drugs termed antibiotics are used to kill the bacteria. However, S. aureus and other pathogenic bacteria have developed resistance against many existing antibiotics, rendering these drugs obsolete. Antibiotic resistance has reached crisis proportions and is predicted to result in over 10 million deaths annually by 2050 if new and effective antibiotics are not discovered. My research aims to find new antimicrobials to treat S. aureus infections. To date, I have discovered a molecule called 6- thioguanine that prevents drug resistant S. aureus from causing skin infections by inhibiting its ability to make toxins that are responsible for this disease.
Denny recently graduated with his PhD from the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Western University. During his Ph.D, his research focused on discovering new antibiotics to treat infections caused by a multi-drug resistant bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus. Fascinated by the global impact that microbes have on humans, Denny has decided to continue doing microbiology research as a career. Outside the lab, Denny enjoys doing science communication on Instagram where he creates digital content to help other young researchers navigate their way through research and graduate school.
View Denny's work as it appears in the Inspiring Minds Digital Collection: https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/inspiringminds/173/