Dr. Nadja Cech (CHEM) received funding for project focusing on beneficial skin bacteria

August 9, 2018

Dr. Nadja Cech (Chemistry and Biochemistry)received new funding from the University of Colorado Denver for the project “Impact of commensal cross-talk on MRSA colonization and infection.”

Dr. Cech and Dr. Alexander Horswill of the University of Colorado Denver received funding to study how beneficial bacteria on skin form a protective barrier that prevents infection by dangerous bacterial pathogens. The hypothesis for their collaborative project is that ‘beneficial’ bacteria that live on healthy skin produce chemical signals that interfere with the communication systems used by harmful infection-causing bacteria.  These chemical signals prevent harmful bacteria from taking up residence on (colonizing) our skin.

To test this hypothesis, Cech and investigators are working to identify the chemical signals produced by beneficial bacteria, while the Horswill group studies the influence of these molecules on would-be bacterial invaders.  The team seeks to provide new insights into the complex interactions that occur among bacteria that comprise the skin microbiome, with the ultimate goal of developing new strategies to treat and prevent deadly bacterial infections.