Systems Based Method for the Identification of Next Generation Anti-Infective Compositions

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Systems based Method for the identification of Next Generation Anti-Infective Compositions

 Princeton Docket # 13-2870

Researchers in the department of chemical and biological engineering, Princeton University have discovered that engaging futile cycles in microbes increases bacterial death due to oxidative stress by orders of magnitude. Additionally they have developed a computational framework to direct selection of futile cycles under specified environmental conditions to produce antibacterial effects.

Proof of concept in E. coli has been established for several futile cycles in different environments. Futile cycling has been validated and an increase in sensitivity to H2O2 has been measured for strains that are actively futile cycling when compared to strains carrying an inactive form of the cycle-enabling enzyme.


Next Steps

Since oxidative stress is used by immune cells and antibiotics to kill bacteria, the knowledge gained from this project could lead to the development of new therapies to sensitize pathogens to immunity and antibiotics. We envision that futile cycles can be engaged in vivo using engineered bacteriophage, which offer the advantage of a genetically-programmable therapy. Additional advantages may include slowed resistance development and ability to potentiate both antibiotics and immunity.

Intellectual Property and Status

Patent protection is pending. Princeton is looking to identify appropriate commercial partners for the further development and commercialization of this technology.


Mark Brynildsen

Mark is an assistant professor in chemical and biological engineering. The main focus of his research is to use both computational and experimental techniques in systems biology, synthetic biology, and metabolic engineering to understand and combat infectious disease. His research focuses on three key areas: host-pathogen interactions, bacterial persistence, and biofilms.

Kristin Adolfsen

Kristin is a third year graduate student in the Brynildsen Research Group


Laurie Tzodikov

Princeton University Office of Technology Licensing ¿ (609) 258-7256¿


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Laurie Tzodikov
Licensing Associates
Princeton University
Mark Brynildsen
Kristin Adolfsen