The Explorations of Anti-infectives research (AIR) group has two main research areas; to explore new treatment possibilities against the intracellular pathogen Chlamydia pneumoniae and to study bacterial biofilms and search for novel ways to solve the highly relevant medical problems they cause.

In the search for new treatments, we mainly focus on solutions based on natural products and naturally derived substances as well as newly synthesized molecules. For instance, we have identified active antibiofilm compounds from wood resins and anti-chlamydial compounds from Schisandra lignans.

Adyary Fallarero is the head of the team studying bacterial biofilms. Here the research is targeting novel ways to counter infections caused by biofilms, both gram positive (i.e. Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis) and gram negative (i.e. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Burkholderia cenocepacia, Escherichia coli, Acinetobacter baumannii). We have developed an assay platform for the screening of compounds for antibiofilm activity using several staining assays. We are also focusing on alternative ways to eradicate and prevent biofilm formation by targeting quorum sensing and persister bacteria.

Leena Hanski is the head of the team studying infections by the intracellular pathogen Chlamydia pneumoniae. The research is focused on chemical biology for studying chlamydial persistence and means for improved eradication of chlamydial infections. We have identified Chlamydia pneumoniae chemosensitizers derived from a medicinal plant and conduct translational work for profiling the nonconventional antichlamydial agents.

We belong to the discipline of Pharmaceutical Biology at the Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Faculty of Pharmacy. We are also part of the Pharmaceutical Design and Discovery group within the faculty’s Drug Research program.