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Anders                         Hakansson

Anders P. Hakansson PhD

Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Assistant Professor

Specialty/Research Focus

Apoptosis and cell death; Immunology; Infectious Disease; Membrane Transport (Ion Transport); Microbial Pathogenesis; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Regulation of metabolism

 
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Professional Summary:

My laboratory seeks to understand how the respiratory pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus), a gram-positive, extracellular bacterium, causes disease in humans and how human defense mechanisms, including breast milk, can better protect us from infection. Our team of undergraduate students, graduate students, a technician and a senior scientist work together and with several national and international collaborators to develop a better understanding in two areas.

First, we are interested in the protective effects of breast-feeding on bacterial infection. We have identified a protein-lipid complex in breast-milk, HAMLET (human alphalactalbumin made lethal to tumor cells) with strong bactericidal activity against S. pneumoniae and other respiratory tract pathogens. HAMLET‘s activity is especially important because it represents a new way to kill bacteria, even those resistant to antibiotics: it uses an essential pathway that the bacteria cannot become resistant against. Additionally, we have recently observed that HAMLET can sensitize antibiotic-resistant bacteria to the antibiotics they are resistant to, which may broaden the treatment arsenal against infectious diseases. Our current projects aim to understand the mechanism of HAMLET-induced bacterial death and sensitization of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and the potential use of HAMLET or its targets in preventing and treating bacterial infections in vivo.

Second, we study how bacterial factors promote colonization and infection of the human host and how the host interact with this commensal during colonization and protects itself when pneumococci transition to infection. We have a major interest in understanding the bacterial and host interplay during pneumococcal colonization and infection. We have recently shown that pneumococci colonize the nasopharynx as a biofilm and have characterized the factors required for optimal colonization and biofilm formation and how these factors promote optimal genetic exchange by this naturally competent organism. We are also very interested in understanding the mechanisms responsible for transition from pneumococcal colonization to infection, with focus on host and bacterial interplay that modulate colonization of the nasopharynx. We are specifically interested in the role of virus infection and modulation of the nasopharyngeal microflora in this transition. We have shown that virus infection causes specific changes of the nasopharyngeal environment that result in release of highly virulent bacteria from the biofilms that disseminate into otherwise sterile sites to cause infection. A better understanding of these mechanisms and the transcriptional profiles of the bacterial populations involved in colonization and disease have the potential to provide novel antibiotic and vaccine targets.

Education and Training:
  • PhD, Medical Microbiology, Lund University, N/A (2000)
  • BS, Medicine, Lund University Medical School, N/A (1992)
Employment:
  • Instructor, Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Harvard Medical School (2005–2006)
  • Research Fellow, Division of Infectious Diseases, Children‘s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School (2004–2005)
  • Research Fellow, Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women‘s Hospital, Harvard Medical School (2002–2004)
  • Research Fellow, Microbiology, University of Alaabama (2000–2002)
  • Project assistant, Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Lund University, Sweden (1999–2000)
Awards and Honors:
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship. Swedish Cancer Society, Sweden (2000)
  • Oscar II Stipend, Lund University Medical School, Lund, Sweden (1999)
  • Travel stipend, Per Westling foundation, Lund, Sweden (1999)
  • Travel stipend, Maggie Stephens Foundation, Lund, Sweden (1998)
  • The young scientist travel award, The Royal Physiographic Society, Sweden (1996)
  • Travel stipend, Maggie Stephens Foundation, Lund, Sweden (1996)
  • The humanitarian prize, Odd Fellow Order Grand lodge, Stockholm, Sweden (1993)

Research Expertise:
  • Antimicrobial development
  • Cell biology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious diseases
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular biology
Research Centers:
  • Witebsky Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology
UB 2020 Strategic Strengths:
  • Molecular Recognition in Biological Systems and Bioinformatics
Grants and Sponsored Research:
  • July 2010–June 2015
    Microbial recognition of sialic acid diversity in the salivary proteome
    NIH
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • May 2008–December 2011
    Treatment of Pneumococcal Disease
    John R Oishei FOundation
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $443,000
  • July 2009–June 2011
    The use of a human milk protein complex, HAMLET, to treat pneumococcal pneumonia
    American Lung Association
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $80,000
  • May 2009–October 2010
    HAMLET, a non-resistance-inducing bactericidal human milk protein
    Bill and Melinda Gates FOundation
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $100,000
  • January 2002–December 2007
    Bacterial respiratory pathogen research unit contract interaction of Group A Streptococcus with pharyngeal epithelial cells
    NIH
    Role: Co-Investigator
Patents:
  • Therapeutic agents (2004)
  • Lactalbumin production process (2000)
  • Lactalbumin production process (1999)
  • Anti-cancer therapy and compositions (1998)

Journal Articles:
See All (35 Total) >

Professional Memberships:
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2007)
  • Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology (2007)
  • The Witebsky Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology (2006)
  • American Society for Cell Biology (2005)
  • American Society for Microbiology (1999)
  • The New York Academy of Sciences (1997–1998)
  • The Swedish Medical Association (1997)
  • European Cell Death Organization (1997)
Presentations:
  • "The tumoricidal and bactericidal activity of HAMLET, a human milk protein-lipid complex" Malmö Cancer Seminars, Lund University, Lund Sweden (2013)
  • "The antibacterial activities of HAMLET from human milk" VA grand rounds, VA Buffalo, Department of Medicine (2013)
  • "Hook-up, sex, and breakup in the nose: Pneumococcal biofilm colonization, transformation and transition to infection" Clinical Microbiology Seminar Series, Malmö University Hospital, Lund University, Department of Clinical Microbiology (2012)
  • "The bactericidal activity of HAMLET – apoptosis in bacteria?" The 3rd HAMLET conference, Lund University (2012)
  • "Transformation uncaged: Biofilm formation and transformation of Streptococcus pneumoniae grown on biological surfaces" Department of Biological Sciences Seminar Series, University of Illinois at Chicago (2012)
  • "The anti-bacterial activity of human milk against cariogenic streptococci" Oral Biology Seminar Series, Department of Oral Biology, University at Buffalo, SUNY (2011)
  • "The bactericidal activity of HAMLET, a human milk protein –lipid complex" Biological Sciences Seminar Series, The College of Bockport, SUNY, Biological Sciences (2010)
  • "HAMLET – a potential novel antibiotic from human milk" New Faculty Orientation, University at Buffalo SUNY, New Faculty (2010)
  • "Anti-tumor activity in human milk" 2010 HMBANA Conference. 100 years of milk banking: Looking back and reaching forward, HMBANA (2010)
  • "The bactericidal activity of HAMLET – an update" Mini-symposium on bioactive molecules in human milk, Lund University (2010)
  • "The bactericidal activity of HAMLET – apoptosis in bacteria?" The 2nd Symposium on HAMLET and tumor-killing proteins, Lund University (2009)
  • "HAMLET, a bactericidal protein complex from human milk" Oral Biology Seminar Series, Department of Oral Biology, University at Buffalo, SUNY, The Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (2007)
  • "How Group A Streptococcus avoids internalization and killing by epithelial cells" , Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University at Buffalo, SUNY (2006)
  • "Cytolysin-dependent evasion of lysosomal killing" The Lancefield Society Annual Meeting (2004)
  • "The roles of streptolysin O and NAD- glycohydrolase in intracellular bacterial killing of group A streptococci" , Harvard Medical School, The Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (2003)
  • "Inhibition of intracellular bacterial killing by the group A streptococcal toxin, streptolysin O" The Lancefield Society Annual Meeting (2003)
  • "Apoptosis induced by a human milk protein complex" 15th annual conference of the International Lactation Consultant Association: Supporting Breast-feeding with evidence-based practice (2000)
  • "Apoptosis induced by a human milk protein complex" HU Research Symposium, Linköping University (1999)
  • "Apoptosis in cancer" Karlskrona Hospital Cancer Association Seminar Series (1998)
  • "Alpha-lactalbumin and apoptosis; targets in tumor cells" Oxford-Lund Biomedical Research Workshop: Microbes, Inflammation and Immunity (1998)
  • "Nuclear uptake coupled to apoptosis induced by MAL, a human milk protein complex" European Association for Cancer Research, 15th meeting (1998)
  • "Spectroscopic characterization of an apoptosis-inducing fraction from human milk containing multimeric alpha-lactalbumin" European Association for Cancer Research, 15th meeting (1998)
  • "Human milk factors inducing apoptosis in tumor cells" Wallenberg Laboratory Symposium series, Malmö University Hospital (1997)
  • "Apoptosis induced by a human milk protein complex" Annual meeting of the Swedish Medical Association (1996)
  • "Apoptosis induced by a human milk protein complex" 5th international symposium on hormones and bioactive substances in milk (1996)
  • "Apoptosis induced by a human milk protein" Oxford-Lund Biomedical Research Programme: Microbes, Inflammation and Immunity (1996)
  • "Interactions of Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoniae with the respiratory tract mucosa" Transatlantic Airway Conference (1996)
  • "Apoptosis induced by Streptococcus pneumoniae in respiratory epithelial cells in vitro" Eight International Congress of Mucosal Immunology (1995)
  • "Binding of Haemophilus influenzae to purified mucins from the human respiratory trac" Eight International Congress of Mucosal Immunology (1995)
  • "Virally enhanced bacterial adherence to a respiratory tract cell line in vitro" Second Extraordinary International Symposium on Recent Advances in Otitis Media (1993)
See All (30 Total) >
Service Activities:
  • Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Graduate Affairs; Chair (2012–2014)
  • Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Graduate Affairs; Co-Chair (2010–2012)
  • School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Admissions Committee; Member (2009–2010)
  • Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Graduate Affairs; Member (2008)
  • School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Faculty Council; Member (2008)
  • Graduate Affairs Committee; Director (2012)
  • Editorial Board WebmedCentral plus; Member of the WebmedCentral plus bacteriology editorial board.; Member (2012)
  • Graduate Affairs Committee; Co-Director (2010–2012)
  • Editorial Board Infection and Immunity; Member of the Editorial board of the American Association for Microbiology journal Infection and Immunity.; Member (2010–2014)
  • Admissions Committee, IGPBS; Member (2009–2010)
  • Planning committee for the Annual Microbial Pathogenesis Conference; Chair (2009–2010)
  • Planning committee for the Annual Conference on Immunology; Member (2009)
  • Web-site update committee; Chair (2008–2009)
  • Graduate Affairs Committee; Member (2008)
  • Planning committee for the Annual Microbial Pathogenesis Conference; Member (2008)
  • Faculty Council; Member (2008)
  • Microbiology and Immunology Department Seminar Series Committee; Member (2008)
  • Radiation Safety Committee; Member (2008)

Clinical Specialties:
Clinical Offices:
Insurance Accepted:

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Contact Information

Department of Microbiology and Immunology
145 BRB
3435 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14214
Phone: (716) 829-6058
Fax: (716) 829-2158
Email: andersh@buffalo.edu


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