Asst. Prof. Poochit Nonejuie, Ph.D.
The microbe lab research focuses on three major areas of microbiology research: Antibiotic discovery platform development, Antimicrobials, and Bacteriophages
For the antibiotic discovery platform development, we are developing an image-based cell profiling platform to study how antibacterial agents kill or effect Gram-negative bacteria at a single cell level. Currently, we are implementing machine learning-based data analysis on making platforms that are specific to certain pathogens including A. baumannii and P. aeruginosa. By having species-specific discovery platforms, we hope to increase the chance of finding new antibiotics against specific pathogens and reduce the drug effect to other commensal bacteria.
For the antimicrobials research, we use our in-house platform that we have developed to understand how antimicrobials work against the bacteria and also how bacteria become resistant to antimicrobial molecules. Currently, we are working with various research groups on studying natural product-derived antibiotics, nano-particles, antimicrobial peptides and DNA nano-structure for drug delivery. We believe that our platform can provide a never-before-seen insight into the mechanism of action (MOA) and resistance of the candidate compounds accelerating the entire process of antimicrobial research for everyone.
For the bacteriophages research (At Chulalongkorn university with Dr. Vorrapon), as the rapid emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens, bacteriophages “an alternative tool of antibiotics” have been widely studied. We aim to identify novel bacteriophages that effectively kill those MDR bacteria, particularly A. baumannii, Pseudomonas spp. and Vibrio spp. We also explore their infection machinery inside the bacterial host, and elucidate how the phages hijack the host with the goal of identifying mechanism of pre-killing (MOK). Together with our optimized platform for phage-derived antimicrobials, we will be able to better understand what the MOK of phage’s proteins is against bacteria and it would drive the discovery of new antimicrobials faster. The molecular insights into the phage and host interaction will be a major step toward the potential therapeutic methods and the successful treatments to biologically control the pandemic widespread of the MDR pathogenic bacteria.
1. Chaikeeratisak V, Khanna K, Nguyen KT, Sugie J, Egan ME, Erb ML, Vavilina A, Nonejuie P, Nieweglowska E, Pogliano K, Agard DA, Villa E, Pogliano J. Viral Capsid Trafficking along Treadmilling Tubulin Filaments in Bacteria. Cell. 2019;177(7):1771-1780.e12.
2. Htoo HH, Brumage L, Chaikeeratisak V, Tsunemoto H, Sugie J, Tribuddharat C, Pogliano J, Nonejuie P. Bacterial Cytological Profiling (BCP) as a tool to study mechanism of action of antibiotics that are active against Acinetobacter baumannii. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2019 Feb 11;AAC.02310-18.
3. Nonejuie P, Trial RM, Newton GL, Lamsa A, Perera VR, Aguilar J, Liu W-T, Dorrestein PC, Pogliano J, Pogliano K. Application of bacterial cytological profiling to crude natural product extracts reveals the antibacterial arsenal of Bacillus subtilis. The Journal of antibiotics. 2016;69(5):353–361.
4. Lin L, Nonejuie P, Munguia J, Hollands A, Olson J, Dam Q, Kumaraswamy M, Rivera H, Corriden R, Rohde M, Hensler ME, Burkart MD, Pogliano J, Sakoulas G, Nizet V. Azithromycin Synergizes with Cationic Antimicrobial Peptides to Exert Bactericidal and Therapeutic Activity Against Highly Multidrug-Resistant Gram-Negative Bacterial Pathogens. EBioMedicine. 2015 Jul;2(7):690–8.
5. Nonejuie P, Burkart M, Pogliano K, Pogliano J. Bacterial cytological profiling rapidly identifies the cellular pathways targeted by antibacterial molecules. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2013 Oct 1;110(40):16169–74.