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This week we profile a recent publication in Biofilms and Microbiomes from
Dr. Bob Hancock (pictured) at the University of British Columbia.

Can you provide a brief overview of your lab’s current research focus?

Our research interests include small cationic peptides as novel antimicrobials and modulators of innate immunity, the development of novel treatments for antibiotic resistant infections, the systems biology of innate immunity, inflammatory diseases, sepsis, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and antibiotic uptake and resistance. Learn more here.

What is the significance of the findings in this publication?

We established a human skin organoid model for examining the growth and inhibition of bacterial biofilm infections. Biofilm  infections are very common (65% of all infections), highly resistant to antibiotics and completely lacking approved therapies. Using this model and a burn injury variant we demonstrated the excellent activities of our anti-biofilm peptides against major pathogens including Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, with coincident anti-inflammatory activity.

What are the next steps for this research?

We are on the path to commercial development of these peptides for chronic biofilm infections causing chronic inflammation. We are interested in improving formulations and understanding the underlying mechanisms.

This research was funded by:

A CIHR Foundation grant. I also have a Canada Research Chair and a UBC Killam Professorship.

Read the Publication