Dean’s Day 2022 Second Place, Doctoral Category: Jessie Klousnitzer


EOH student Jessie Klousnitzer won second place among doctoral students for the project, “Characterization of Lysine and Arginine Rich Antimicrobial Peptides”.

Dean’s Day is an annual student research competition. Students present their research during multiple poster sessions while faculty members judge presentations for prizes and students evaluate posters for Grand Rounds credit.

Visit to learn more about the competition and see a full list of winners.


Decades after their discovery, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have yet to see widespread success as therapeutics against antibiotic resistant infections. There are numerous strategies on how to best design engineered cationic AMPs (eCAPs), but there is not much data to inform how single amino acid changes and length can impact antibacterial properties and toxicity.  In this analysis, we characterize the killing kinetics and lytic properties of two libraries containing either arginine or lysine rich alpha-helical eCAPs.  The peptides were designed by adding single amino acids to the 7-residue arginine or lysine base peptides, resulting in peptides between 7 and 18 residues that are comprised of only two different amino acids.  This method allows us to further examine the impact that different amino acids and lengths have on the function of eCAPs in vitro.  


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