Saloni Sahu

Doctoral candidate at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

About me

I hold a BSc in Biosciences and a MSc in Biosciences with a minor in Science Education from IISER Mohali, India.

Fascinated by the ongoing research about resilient bacterial adversaries, my focus lies mainly within the realm of antibacterial compounds in the field of medical microbiology. My academic journey has been a captivating exploration of the intricate world of microorganisms, where I want to unravel the potential of novel compounds to combat bacterial infections. With a solid foundation in microbiology techniques, I am committed to discovering and developing innovative antibacterial agents and assays that promise to reshape our approach to infectious bacterial diseases. Through a combination of rigorous research and practical experimentation, my goal is to contribute to the urgent need for effective solutions in an era of evolving bacterial resistance.

Throughout my academic pursuit, I am working and have worked with some of the best mentors. Together I hope to combat antimicrobial resistance, discover compounds that can be used as antibiotics and, above all, improve my scientific thinking and writing skills during this journey.

About my project
DC02: Innovative high-throughput assays to report on OM biogenesis and integrity

In this project we will set up and use high-throughput bacterial assays to screen for compounds that affect OM biogenesis and integrity. The assays will be fluorescence-based and report on stress responses by which bacteria respond to defects in their cell envelope. As such, this “stress-profiling” approach will be used by other partners in the consortium as well. In addition, we will develop novel assays that report more specifically on loss of Bam function and consequent failure of barrel-type OMP insertion and folding.

Hit compounds will be analysed and optimized using cell-based assays and in-house Zebrafish infection models. In particular, we will focus on efficacy, target identification, effects on cell envelope integrity and related synergy with known large scaffold antibiotics.

These unbiased approaches will help to explore the untapped potential of cell envelope biogenesis as target for new antimicrobials but may also inform on the intricate biogenesis pathways of barrel-type OMPs, lipoproteins, lipids, and LPS.