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Concordia Professor's Patented Strategy Could Help Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria PDF Print Email


By Rebecca Portnoy, Communications Manager, Concordia College      

Apr. 10, 2019:  A new class of synthetic antibiotics may one day be a reality thanks to the work of Concordia College New York assistant professor of biology Dr. Francine Morris.

According to the World Health Organization, a growing number of infections are becoming harder to treat as bacteria change in response to antibiotics, creating a daunting challenge to global health, food security, and development. As new resistance mechanisms emerge and spread, antibiotics are becoming increasingly ineffective.

Dr. Morris (along with Dr. Caren L. Freel Meyers and Ryan J. Vierling) developed the patented strategy while working on her PhD. She demonstrated that it is possible to effectively target a particular protein within a microbe (of which bacteria are a type). Scientists had previously underestimated the potential of the protein upon which she focused her research.

The implication for antibiotic development is profound. Using Dr. Morris’s patented design strategy (aromatic acyl phosphonates as selective inhibitors of DXP synthase), an entirely new class of antibiotic could be developed – one with a much longer time frame for developing resistance in bacteria. Click here for an article she co-authored.

Dr. Morris said, “I hope that someone will pick up on the idea. When it comes to microbes, it’s more their world than ours.”

Dr. Morris earned her PhD in chemical biology at Johns Hopkins University. She also holds a master’s degree in chemistry from Emory University and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, cum laude, from Bryn Mawr College. She has performed research at Albert Einstein and other institutions, has received several fellowships and awards, and has contributed work to various scientific publications and presentations. Dr. Morris’s goal in teaching is to make the sciences accessible to all students, perhaps inspiring them to join the field.

Pictured here:  Concordia professor Francine Morris. 

Photo courtesy Concordia College

Editor's note
: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. 

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About the Bronxville Adult School & Contacts

The Bronxville Adult School is a not-for-profit organization incorporated in 1957 and chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. The School "offers all adults of Bronxville and surrounding communities the opportunity for personal growth through life enhancing skills and provides cultural, intellectual and recreational stimulation at a nominal cost."

The Bronxville Adult School
(914) 793-4435
P.O. Box 334, Bronxville NY 10708

Bronxville Public Library

Bronxville Public Library

The Bronxville Public Library traces its origins back to 1875, when it was a small lending library housed in a room attached to the “Bronxville Model School.” The Library was officially chartered in 1906 and moved into the Village Hall Building. The needs of the library grew with the town and, in 1942, a new standalone building was erected, which is where the Library is today. Over the years, the Library was renovated and expanded to meet the needs of the community.

The Library has wonderful resources for adults and children and offers a comfortable and relaxing environment. The Library also houses a fine art collection, consisting principally of Bronxville painters and sculptors.

The Library offers special events, art exhibitions, and programs for adults, young adults and children.  All events are open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.

The Bronxville Public Library
201 Pondfield Road (Midland Avenue & Pondfield Road)

Concordia College

Concordia College Adult Education

Concordia College was founded in 1881. It is a four-year, co-educational liberal arts college located in Bronxville. Concordia's Accelerated Degree Programs are designed to give you the skills to be competitive in your chosen career or in graduate school. 

Concordia College - New York
171 White Plains Road
Bronxville, New York 10708

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Sarah Lawrence College 

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