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Beta-peptides as synergistic complements to current antifungal treatments

Lance Bettinson's picture
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I am Lance Bettinson, a Stanford chemical engineering student fortunate enough to participate in the REU program here at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. When UPRM offered me the chance to pursue interdisciplinary summer research in chemical engineering, I accepted without hesitation. I anticipated a wealth of new cultural and academic experiences accompanying the opportunity to contribute to the scientific effort here in the Caribbean. I have yet to be disappointed.

Assisted by Camilo Mora of the Patricia Ortiz Bermuda group, my research involves the combination of two antifungal agents, helical β-peptides and azoles, in pursuit of a super effective antifungal treatment. Current antifungal medications (azoles) are ineffective in adequately treating more robust strains of fungus. Likewise, biosynthetic alternatives alone (namely β-peptides with helical shape) fail to eradicate resistant fungus before it builds resistance. Cotreatment of azoles and β-peptides, however, promise a synergistic platform by which the antifungal effects of the individual agents are enhanced. I am tasked with ascertaining synergism in antifungal cotreatment and optimizing doses for safe yet effective utility.

Thanks for reading! Please direct any questions, comments, &c. related to my experience in the REU thus far or my current research endeavors to