Dr. Hakansson Anders

Dr. Hakansson Anders

Assistant Professor

University at Buffalo, SUNY
145 BRB, 3435 Main Street, Buffalo, United States of America, 14214

plus Speciality

BACTERIOLOGY

Biography:

I obtained my PhD at Lund Univeristy Medical School, Lund, Sweden, in 2000 with a thesis where I discovered a human milk protein-lipid complex from human milk, that we have called HAMLET, that kills tumor cells and bacteria. After my PhD (2000-2002) I did a first post-doctoral fellowship in Birmingham, AL, USA, where I worked with Dr David Briles to better understand colonization and infection of Streptococcus pneumoniae as well as characterizing protein vaccine candidates to protect against pneumococcal infection. 2002-2006 I did a second post-doctoral fellowship in Boston at Children's Hospital/Harvard MEdical School with Dr Michael Wessels, where I studied trafficking of group A streptococci in epithelial cells. In 2007 I started my own laboratory at Univeristy at Buffalo, State Univeristy of New York where I study pneumococcal host-pathogen interactions and the anti-infective activities of human milk.

Academic positions:

2007-present Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Univeristy at Buffalo, State Univeristy of New York 2005-2006 Instructor, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Research interests:

My laboratory seeks to understand how the respiratory pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus), a gram-positive, extracellular bacterium, causes disease in humans and how human defense mechanisms, including breast milk, can better protect us from infection. Our team of undergraduate students, graduate students, a technician and a senior scientist work together and with several national and international collaborators to develop a better understanding in two areas. First, we are interested in the protective effects of breast-feeding on bacterial infection. We have identified a protein-lipid complex in breast-milk, HAMLET (human alphalactalbumin made lethal to tumor cells) with strong bactericidal activity against S. pneumoniae and other respiratory tract pathogens. HAMLET‘s activity is especially important because it represents a new way to kill bacteria, even those resistant to antibiotics: it uses an essential pathway that the bacteria cannot become resistant against. Our current projects aim to understand the mechanism of HAMLET-induced bacterial death and the potential use of HAMLET or its targets in preventing and treating biofilm formation in vitro and established pneumococcal infections in vivo. Second, we study how bacterial factors promote colonization and infection of the human host such as adherence, invasion, and biofilm formation, and how the host protects itself from bacterial challenge (mucosal innate and adaptive immune responses). We want to improve the understanding of how the pneumococci interact with host cells in the respiratory tract during colonization and transition to infection. We currently focus on dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (DLDH), a pneumococcal enzyme that the bacteria require to cause infection. We have shown that DLDH facilitates nutrient import by binding to a transport molecule only found in bacteria. Our current project aims to understand DLDH‘s function and target it for future development of novel antibiotics.

What I think of the idea behind WebmedCentral and WebmedCentral plus:

A great concept for the future of scientific publishing.