Adam Driks, PhD
Ph.D., Brandeis University
Major Research Interests: Spore formation in Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis: roles in survival and pathogenesis, and defense against biological weapons.
Bacterial spores can survive even the most extreme environments. This property allows pathogenic spores, such as those produced by Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, to serve as biological weapons. We study the composition and assembly of spore structures responsible for their unusual durability, in both B. anthracis and B. subtilis. This work allows us to address several basic science issues, including the molecular mechanisms controlling assembly of cellular structures, and the roles of spore protective structures in pathogenesis. Our studies also allow us to contribute to a variety of efforts to defend against biological weapons, including the development of novel spore detection and decontamination methods, as well as vaccines.
Decontamination of Clostridium difficile spores
Collaborators: Adam Driks, Ph.D. and Stuart Johnson, M.D.
Clostridium difficile contamination is widespread in hospitals, significantly increasing the risk of infection for susceptible patients. We seek to reduce this risk by developing chemistries that remove C. difficile from hospital environments which are safe and easy to apply, and do not present additional risks to patients.