Dr. Konstantin Severinov Earns $1.2M NIH Grant

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences - as part of the National Institutes of Health has awarded $1,200,000 to Dr. Konstantin Severinov, Principal Investigator at the Waksman Institute in support of his latest research project to increase understanding of bacterial immunity and help to design new compounds that inhibit small RNA-based adaptive bacterial immunity, a validated target of antibiotics. The project aims to lay the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention relating to Drug Resistance.


During infection of bacterial viruses the gene transcription enzyme of the bacterial host -- RNA polymerase (RNAP) -- stops expressing host genes and starts expressing viral genes; this change is often caused by the binding of phage proteins to host RNAP. The study will identify and characterize, both functionally and structurally, several phage proteins that bind to and change the activity of RNAP.