While writing about lives of Korean war veterans, I learned defectors from North Korea respond uniquely to antibiotics. I was driven to understand about bacteria, so I contacted Professor Robert Mitchell. At Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, I was given the opportunity to become a laboratory assistant to his research on improving bioreporter strain sensitivity.
To make bacterial bioreporters more sensitive to target chemicals, our group studied the use of membrane permeabilizing conditions and chemicals.
We perforated the bacterial membrane with human serum complement in the first study, and thus increased the sensitivity of the E.coli bioreporter to mitomycin C (chemotherapeutic drug that covalently binds DNA). In the second study, we increased the sensitivity of an E.coli reporter strain by 2- to 4-fold with several viologens with branched PEIs (BPEIs).
We are currently writing the research paper for journal submission.