Dr Sarah Dennison
Sarah Dennison is the Biomedical Research Facilities Manager and a Research Fellow in the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences. | She is research active (H-index = 24) and, since 2001, has spent her time pursuing a number of questions concerning the mechanism of action of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) using a number of biophysical techniques such as Langmuir Blodgettry and antimicrobial assays. | Sarah has written over 70 publications from her research and parallel collaborative work.
Sarah has published widely in the antimicrobial peptide field of research. This has led to a book published on Antimicrobial peptides (Phoenix, D. A., Dennison, S. R., and Harris, F. (2013) Antimicrobial peptides (Phoenix, D. A., Dennison, S. R., and Harris, F. eds.), Wiley, Germany). Sarah also edited a book in 2014 with the support of Prof David Phoenix and Dr Frederick Harris on Novel Antimicrobial Agents and Strategies, Wiley, Germany.
Sarah is the Biomedical Research Facility Manager. She is responsible form managing the Biomedical Research facility on the 3rd floor Darwin. Along side this role Sarah is a Research Fellow undertaking her own research into the field of antimicrobial peptides. She has delivered a number of keynote lectures at conferences. Sarah has supervised a number of postgraduate students at Masters and PhD level.
- PhD – Investigation into the structure function relationship of the membrane interaction of amphiphilic α-helical antimicrobial peptides. 2004
- BSc (Hons) Environmental Biology, University of Wales, Bangor, UK, 1999
- Antimicrobial peptides
- Circular dichroism
- Langmuir Blodgettry
- Peptide/ membrane interactions
- Structure-function relationships
- Society of Biology Chartered Membership
- Royal Society of Chemistry Associate Member
- Biochemical Society Member
- The British Biophysical Society Member
- Biophysics Society Member
- American Chemical Society Member
A major problem facing medical science is the increasing occurrence of resistance to antimicrobial and anticancer agents. The research is divided into two areas involving theoretical and practical based research. The theoretical approach investigates the structure/ function relationships of AMPs. It has been s established that architectural features of α-AMPs such as amphiphilicity levels and hydrophobic arc size are of major importance in the ability of these peptides to invade microbial and/ or cancer cell membranes cells. The practical side of the research investigates peptide lipid interactions using a variety of techniques. The following techniques are employed in the research.
- Langmuir Blodgett Troughs: This is a powerful technique used for studying peptide interactions with lipid membranes. Langmuir Blodgett troughs are used to investigate the surface activity, peptide structure at an air/ water interface, the ability of the peptide to interact with various lipids and lipid systems mimetic of bacterial/ tumour membranes. This technique allows a highly flexible approach to the study of membrane interactive molecules in terms of model membrane composition, subphase pH, ionic strength and other factors.
- Circular dichroism: This technique is used to investigate the structure of the peptide in the presence of lipid systems mimetic of bacterial/tumour membranes.
- Fluorescence spectroscopy: This technique is used to investigate the mechanism of peptide membrane interaction and provides information about peptide vesicle leakage and peptide binding.
- Antimicrobial assays: This technique is used to determine the minimum inhibition concentration of antimicrobial peptides.
Use the links below to view their profiles:
- Centre for Brain and Behaviour Research
- Centre for Drug Design and Development
- Centre for Smart Material.
- The effect of PEGylation on the efficacy and delivery of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs)
- Structure function relationships of antimicrobial peptides
- The antimicrobial properties of amyloidogenic peptides
- Sarah is also involved in a number of collaborative projects that investigate the structure/ function relationships of novel compounds.
- European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme through the 'Research Infrastructure' action of the 'Capacities' Programme, NMI3-II Grant number, 2011 283883' project code number Experiment BIO-01-1233 €61,600,00
- European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme through the 'Research Infrastructure' action of the 'Capacities' Programme, 2013
- European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme through the 'Research Infrastructure' action of the 'Capacities' Programme, 2013 NMI3-II Grant number 283883' project code number Experiment BIO-01-3066 total €68,200,00
- Biochemical Society 2012 - Eric Reid Fund for Methodology £,2871.80
- Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur Pakistan 2015 – £33,000
- Since 2000 over 52 conference proceedings.The most recent are as follows:
- Família C Quintas, A. Phoenix, D A., Dennison S. R.(2017) Evaluation of the correlation between amyloidogenicity and antimicrobial peptide efficacy. PepCon-2017. Japan
- Erum E., Dennison S.R., Harris F. and Phoenix D.A. (2015) A study on the interactions of Gaegurin 4 with bacterial membranes IMAP London
- Dennison S.R., Morton L.H.G.,Harris F and Phoenix D.A. (2015) Use of the antimicrobial peptide maximin H5 to protect against Staphylococcus aureus IMAP London
- Família, C., Dennison, S. R., Quintas, Aand Phoenix D.A. (2014) Prediction of peptide and protein propensity for amyloid formation through a machine learning approach with recursive feature selection and artificial neural networks. British Biophysics conference. Warwick 9th -11th July 2014.
- Dennison S. R., Kent, B., Hauβ, T and Phoenix, D.A. (2014)Investigations into the effects of membrane composition on the insertion of antimicrobial peptides British Biophysics conference. Warwick 9th -11th July 2014.
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