T.P. Straatsma is leading a team of researchers modeling the lipopolysaccharide outer membrane of P. aeruginosa to learn how the membrane responds to its environment. This research is addressing the question of how this microbe adsorbs to mineral surfaces and what the mechanism is for the uptake and reduction of heavy metals. This has signifi cant implications for bioremediation applications if these metals are radioactive and are reduced to insoluble form to prevent further spreading of the contamination.
In another project, the team also is addressing the health related issues concerning this microbe. Again focusing on the outer membrane, Straatsma and his coworkers are studying the role of a range of proteins embedded in the membrane, as well as the mechanism of action of certain antibiotics that are effective in treating P. aeruginosa infections that plague cystic fi brosis patients, burn victims and patients with compromised immune systems.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researcher Tjerk Straatsma will be presenting his results at 2:10 p.m., Monday, Aug. 29.