The Healing Power of Chemistry: Cutting Edge Antibiotic and Gene Therapy Research

ACS Webinars

This year’s National Chemistry Week theme, “The Healing Power of Chemistry,” recognizes the tremendous advances made by medical professionals and scientists that have long been inspired by nature, the ancient habits of our ancestors, and from our own bodies’ mechanisms to prevent, fight, heal, and restore us to health.

As part of ACS’s celebration of NCW (October 15-21), join us for this special broadcast featuring two scientists who are each working on developing new drugs to meet rising challenges to our health and safety. First, Dr. Jayanta Haldar (Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research) will discuss the growing threat posed by drug-resistant bacteria through his work with Vancomycin, a blockbuster antibiotic that has been lifesaving against multidrug-resistant Gram-positive infections. The increased prevalence of vancomycin-resistant bacteria and the inherent challenges of complicated infections highlight the urgent need to develop credible alternatives to Vancomycin. Dr. Haldar will describe his work towards designing multi-target acting next-generation analogues which possess additional modes of action and have demonstrated superior efficacy in tackling vancomycin resistance in Gram-positive as well as Gram-negative bacteria, including multidrug-resistant strains.

Then, Dr. Karmella A. Haynes (Emory University School of Medicine) will discuss her lab’s research into chromatin, the DNA-protein structure that packages eukaryotic genes, and their work to investigate and design chromatin-based systems for controlling gene expression in cancer. Her lab’s approach, which they call “macrogenomic engineering,” uses histone-binding protein motifs to build fusion transcription factors that co-regulate groups of genes based on their chromatin features. In her talk, Dr. Haynes will discuss how these systems could be useful in activating anti-cancer gene expression to empower the body to intrinsically fight off cancer.

This ACS Webinar is moderated by Catherine Goodman of ACS Publications and co-produced with National Chemistry Week, ACS Publications, and the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry.

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What You Will Learn

  • How bacteria develop resistance to drugs 
  • What are Glycopeptide antibiotics, their mechanism of action, and concerns about resistance 
  • Research into next-generation glycopeptides to tackle resistance and complicated infections 
  • What is chromatin and its role in gene expression 
  • How chromatin-based systems can be designed to activate anti-cancer gene expression 
  • Other gene therapy applications of chromatin-based systems

Co-Produced With


What an attendee said about this ACS Webinar!

I appreciated learning the mechanisms for antimicrobial activity afforded by vancomycin derivatives.  I also appreciated the introduction into epigenetic modulation, a topic I am unfamiliar with.

Meet the Experts

Jayanta Haldar
Editor-in-Chief, ACS Infectious Diseases and Distinguished Professor, New Chemistry Unit and School of Advanced Materials, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Research

Karmella A. Haynes
Associate Editor, ACS Synthetic Biology and Assistant Professor, Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Emory University

Catherine Goodman
Senior Associate Publisher,  American Chemical Society

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