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Associate Professor of Chemistry Myriam Cotten gave an invited seminar presentation at the University of Maryland (Shady Grove) on March 24. Her talk titled “Bridging Structure, Dynamics, and Function in Antimicrobial Peptides: Insights from Studying Piscidin” focused on her ongoing research on how antimicrobial peptides recognize and kill bacteria.

Cotten's research, funded by a National Science Foundation CAREER grant, was recently featured as a cover story in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Caitlyn Burzynski, ’12, Alexander Dao, ’12, Robert Hayden, ’14, and William Wieczoreck, ’11 are co-authors on the publication. Antimicrobial peptides hold great promise in the search for new antimicrobial agents: some bacteria can evolve into strains that are drug-resistant but antimicrobial peptides show low incidence of induced drug-resistance.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections”.

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