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Associate Professor of Food Science;
College of Science
Contact: 864-952-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Tzeng received his undergraduate training at the Department of Food Science, Tunghai University, Taiwan. He completed his graduate training and earned a PhD in Microbiology at the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Medicine, Clemson University, USA. Dr. Tzeng has taught microbiology courses at all levels. His research interests focus on the development of non-antibiotic approaches for the prevention and treatment of microbial infections. The long-term goal of his research is to develop prevention and therapeutic approaches to reduce, augment, enhance, or replace the use of antibiotics. The approach he takes to achieve the goal is to study the microbe and host interactions as well as the mechanisms enabling the microorganisms to be resistant to the actions of antibiotics. Understanding of these interactions and resistance mechanisms will enable us to develop effective disease prevention and treatment methods. He has published 45 manuscripts and received funding from USDA, NSF, NIH, Army, and private sectors.
For more information, see his Curriculum Vitae.
Increasing incidences of multi-drug resistant bacteria is posing a big threat in current clinical and healthcare settings. Attachment of bacterial pathogens onto the surface of mammalian cells is one of the foremost events in host-pathogen interactions. Several pathogenic bacteria can adhere onto specific host-cell receptors via carbohydrate binding proteins, also called adhesins or lectins. If these binding interactions are inhibited/interrupted then the chances of getting infection is greatly reduced. Dr. Tzeng and his colleagues have previously shown that nanomaterials functionalized with adhesin-specific carbohydrates resulted in bacteria-nanomaterial aggregates that caused a significant reduction in colony forming units. They have also synthesized and demonstrated that adhesin-specific iron-oxide nanoparticles conjugated with specific carbohydrates moieties that mimic host-cell receptors, would induce rapid clustering of bacteria in presence of these nanoparticles and when such aggregates of bacteria-nanoparticles complex are exposed to magnetically mediated energy delivery (MagMED), it would result in enhanced and selective inactivation/killing of that specific pathogen. This would enable them to treat infections caused by multiple-drug-resistant bacteria that are difficult to treat or untreatable with conventional antibiotic regiments. It would also enable them to target specific disease-causing pathogens without harming host cells or normal microflora.
Drug-resistant infections; Alternatives to antibiotic; Nanotechnology; Iron-oxide mediated hyperthermia; Adhesins; Carbohydrate receptors; Lectins