The Duerfeldt laboratory integrates synthetic/medicinal chemistry, chemical and structural biology, and computational methods to develop chemical probes and therapeutic leads for unexploited targets implicated in pathogenesis. Ongoing research programs include:

Pathway/Enzyme Activation as an Antibacterial Strategy

The continued rise of drug resistance, paired with the decline in newly approved antibiotics for existing targets, has reinvigorated the desire to exploit new antibacterial strategies. Our approach aims to identify both natural product and small molecule modulators that cause detrimental effects to bacteria through pathway or enzyme activation, rather than inhibition. Currently, we are interested in developing new molecules that activate bacterial proteases or two-component signaling pathways.

Small Molecule Treatments for Diabetic Retinopathy

Currently, over 400 million people worldwide have diabetes mellitus. Nearly 1/3 of diabetics