Michael Bucher

Michael Bucher

Mentor

Dr. Daniel Czyz

College

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Major

Microbiology and Cell Science

Minor

Public Health, Pathogenesis

Organizations

American Society of Microbiology (ASM), Health Education and Literacy Organization (HELO)

Academic Awards

N/A

Volunteering

N/A

Research Interests

Antimicrobial resistance, virology, bacteriology

Hobbies and Interests

Swimming, hiking, traveling, volunteer work

Research Project

Isolating novel phages against multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections kill over 35,000 patients per year, and that number is expected to increase 10-fold by 2050 (CDC, 2019). Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacterium known for extensive resistance to antibiotics, making it very difficult to treat in clinical settings. The possible use of bacteriophages to treat bacterial infections has long been known. However, due to the successful development of antibiotics and the relative ease of their production and use, bacteriophage therapy has not been actively pursued. More recently, certain bacterial strains, such as P. aeruginosa, have developed resistance to almost all antibiotics, making the treatment of such infections almost impossible. Therefore, the use of bacteriophages is re-emerging as the need for alternative treatments to antibiotics has become more apparent. I will be isolating phages from the UF wastewater treatment facility and testing them against clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa obtained from the CDC. Furthermore, I will be testing phages in conjunction with antibiotics to see if there might be a synergistic effect that could lead to combination treatments. Finally, I will also be using functional genomic comparisons and genetic knockouts to evaluate possible phage-host interactions and phage infection mechanisms.

  • Dr. Daniel Czyz
  • Microbiology and Cell Science
  • Public Health, Pathogenesis
  • Antimicrobial resistance, virology, bacteriology
  • N/A
  • American Society of Microbiology (ASM), Health Education and Literacy Organization (HELO)
  • N/A
  • Swimming, hiking, traveling, volunteer work
  • Isolating novel phages against multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections kill over 35,000 patients per year, and that number is expected to increase 10-fold by 2050 (CDC, 2019). Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacterium known for extensive resistance to antibiotics, making it very difficult to treat in clinical settings. The possible use of bacteriophages to treat bacterial infections has long been known. However, due to the successful development of antibiotics and the relative ease of their production and use, bacteriophage therapy has not been actively pursued. More recently, certain bacterial strains, such as P. aeruginosa, have developed resistance to almost all antibiotics, making the treatment of such infections almost impossible. Therefore, the use of bacteriophages is re-emerging as the need for alternative treatments to antibiotics has become more apparent. I will be isolating phages from the UF wastewater treatment facility and testing them against clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa obtained from the CDC. Furthermore, I will be testing phages in conjunction with antibiotics to see if there might be a synergistic effect that could lead to combination treatments. Finally, I will also be using functional genomic comparisons and genetic knockouts to evaluate possible phage-host interactions and phage infection mechanisms.