Project Summary:

Amphiphilic peptidomimetics represent an attractive alternative to conventional antibiotics, because their selectivity and mechanism of action are based on different molecular principles. In this project, our main goal is to obtain a library of metallacarborane-containing peptidomimetics with potent antibacterial activity, high selectivity, and immunity to resistance development by bacteria. Two types of peptidomimetics will be obtained: peptoids and polymers. The amphiphilic character of peptidomimetics will be reinforced by the incorporation of hydrophilic cationic moieties and lipophilic metallacarboranes. To fully understand the antibacterial potential of these peptidomimetics, we are planning concerted physicochemical studies completed by a biological evaluation of antibacterial and antibiofilm activity, toxicity, and immunomodulatory activity. These studies will allow us to identify peptidomimetics with the best antibacterial activity and to understand the underlying molecular and supramolecular principles.

Related publications:

[1] Fink, K.; Uchman, M. Boron cluster compounds as new chemical leads for antimicrobial therapy. Coordination Chemistry Reviews 2021, 431(15), 213684.
[2] Vrbata, D.; Uchman M. Preparation of Lactic Acid- and Glucose-Responsive Poly(ε-caprolactone)-b-Poly(ethylene oxide) Block Copolymer Micelles Using Phenylboronic Ester as a Sensitive Block Linkage. Nanoscale 2018, 10(18), 8428–8442.

The ideal candidate should have MSc. or equivalent in Chemistry, Physics, Material Science or a related field, working knowledge of English and basic knowledge of polymer and/or boron chemistry, synthesis and characterization (GPC, NMR, scattering techniques). Candidate will be enrolled in Macromolecular Chemistry Ph.D. program at CU and close collaboration with Dr. Krzysztof Fink from Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland. 

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