Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Novick, Richard P.
Location New York University
Primary Field Microbial Biology
Secondary Field Biochemistry
 Election Citation
Novick developed fundamental tools to study the genetic and molecular basis of antibiotic resistance and virulence in the medically important Staphylococci. His work has contributed significantly to our understanding of the pathogenesis of staphylococcal infection.
 Research Interests
The entire Novick lab is now focussed on re-purposing the SaPIs as antibacterial agents, as an answer to rampant antibiotic resistance. SaPIs are ~15 kb chromosomal units that are induced by helper phages and packaged in small phage-like particles, yielding titers of ~10e9/ ml. Deletion of genes controlling capsid size has resulted in packaging in full-sized phage capsids, adding 30 kb of cloning capacity. Toxin genes have been replaced by antibacterial cargos, including genes for CRISPR/cas9, CRISPR/dcas9 and lysostaphin. The CRISPR derivatives were curative for murine infections; tests with lysostaphin-encoding derivatives are in progress, as is construction of derivatives containing different types of antibacterial modules. The modified SaPIs are known as antibacterial drones (ABDs). A key feature of the ABD system is the incorporation of 2 or more antibacterial modules in a single ABD genome in order to preclude resistance.

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