About Alaa R M Sayed
Alaa Ropy Sayed, PhD, is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research at the UF College of Pharmacy. He completed his PhD degree in molecular biosciences at the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM, Spain) in 2014. Then, he moved to Egypt and held a Faculty position at Fayoum University in 2015 until he joined University of Florida as a postdoctoral research associate in 2019.
Dr. Sayed’s current research is focused on studying the mechanisms of action of penicillins and related antibiotics from the β-lactam class. This includes in-depth studies on the receptor binding in lysed and intact bacteria, as well as the associated morphology changes using latest technologies. The latter include biochemical receptor binding studies, flow cytometry and automated confocal microscopy.
All β-lactam antibiotics target penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) and a related class of targets, the so called L,D-transpeptidases (LDTs). Both of these enzymes are responsible for cell wall synthesis and maturation. Our team is applying latest proteomics via mass spectrometry for identifying these target enzymes in different bacteria. Dr. Sayed worked extensively on creating large databases for receptor binding data in lysed bacteria of Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa for about 50 β lactams and β-lactamase inhibitors.
Moreover, Dr. Sayed created and refined latest time-course assays on β-lactams for their receptor binding in intact bacteria of A. bau¬mannii, K. pneumoniae, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. He has a publication on first penicillin-binding protein occupancy patterns for 15 β-lactams and β-lactamase inhibitors in Mycobacterium abscessus. He is also working on PBPs of mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium avium complex. Finally, he developed a series of latest direct PBP-binding assays, which can quantify bound PBPs and LDTs using clickable probe β-lactams. This approach allows us to label bound and unbound PBPs using different fluorophores by employing azide or alkyne versions of the targeted β-lactams and BocillinTM FL for labeling of unbound PBPs.
Selection of major research grants where Dr. Sayed is playing a key role:
NIH/NIAID R01 AI136803 Bulitta JB (PI) Role: PI Combating resistant superbugs by understanding the molecular determinants of target site penetration and binding
NIH/NIAID R01 AI148560 Tsuji BT (contact) / Bulitta JB Role: PI Novel Strategies for Antibiotic Combinations to Combat Gram-negative Superbugs
NIH/NIAID SBIR 2R44AI136213-04 Roemer T (PI) Role: Co-I Development of a PO-administered beta-lactam-tarocin combination agent to treat methicillin susceptible and methicillin resistant Staphylococci
NIH R01 R01 AI173064 Bulman Z (PI) Role: Co-I Precise Combination Strategies Targeting Carbapenem-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae