Robert W. Huigens

Assistant Professor at University of Florida

2015 North Jefferson Street, Jacksonville, Florida, United States
University of Florida
HQ Phone:
(904) 588-1800
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Last Updated 11/15/2017

General Information


PhD  - 

Web References  

The Collapse of Biofilms? - Pediatrics Nationwide

Some of the most promising recent research on eradicating established biofilms has come from the lab of Robert W. Huigens III, PhD, an assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Florida.
Dr. Huigens' research team designs, chemically synthesizes and evaluates novel small molecules against biofilms, with the goal of bringing a biofilmeradicating agent to the clinic for therapeutic use. Dr. Huigens has found that a group of compounds called halogenated phenazines (HP), which are inspired by a marine antibiotic, can eradicate methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other biofilms. "The mechanism by which these compounds kill biofilm cells is not entirely clear," Dr. Huigens says. "But as an alternative to antibodies and proteins, these HP small molecules infiltrate biofilms and kill the persistent bacteria inside." Unlike some other biofilm-eradicating agents, HPs do not "punch holes" in cellular membranes. HP small molecules show selectivity toward bacterial cells over healthy human cell types, such as red blood cells. Dr. Huigens, like Dr. Goodman, says that one of the most vexing issues with biofilm eradication is killing the bad while leaving the good. Previously discovered compounds have not made the distinction, but Dr. Huigens says that the HP compounds do. "We have made an important first step in discovering and developing potent biofilm-killing agents," Dr. Huigens says.

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Robert Huigens, assistant professor, medicinal chemistry

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