From flesh eating bacteria to molecular superglue

Engineering a virulence factor from the flesh-eating bacteria to produce a new molecular superglue.

About the talk

Scientist Bijan Zakeri started studying Streptococcus pyogenes - the pathogen responsible for diseases from strep throat to scarlet fever - in the hopes of creating a new generation of antibodies to treat cancer. What he developed instead was completely unexpected: a molecular superglue made from its stone-strong chemical bonds that may change the way we address scientific and medical needs.

About the speaker

Bijan Zakeri · Inventor

As an inventor in Discovery and Development Technologies at our company based in Boston, USA, Bijan develops new technological platforms for early stage drug discovery. Specialising in antibody engineering, he utilises the modular nature of antibodies to cut-and-paste them in new ways, with the aim of discovering new therapeutics that better address patient needs. Educated as a biochemist at Oxford University as a Clarendon Scholar and McMaster University, and as a synthetic biologist at MIT, he invented a biological superglue by engineering a virulence factor from flesh-eating bacteria while at Oxford. The superglue allows proteins to be assembled into new architectures to address needs in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries.