Dr. Richardson graduated in 1996 with a B.S. in Biochemistry from Lebanon Valley College. After college he worked for Bayer pharmaceuticals testing over the counter drugs (Aspirin, Midol, ect...) After which he went to the University of Southern Maine and got a M.S. in Medical Immunology and Molecular Biology in 1999. Finally he went to the University of Alabama, Birmingham to get his PhD in Biochemistry in 2004. His thesis focused on structural modeling of proteins involved in diseases. In 2004 he took a position at Coastal Carolina University. In 2009 he was awarded the Outstanding researcher in Applied Medical Sciences and in 2012 he was awarded the Harry M. Lightsey Jr. Visiting Scholar.
Research interests of Dr. Paul E. Richardson
Currently I am working on Lipoproteins and the anti-bacterial drug discovery project. For the lipoprotein project we use bioinformatics techniques to develop structural a model of lipoproteins, so we can better understand their function. These all atom models allow us better understand how they transport lipids and can cause heart disease (arteriosclerosis). We have developed the current structural model of Apolipoprotein B (ApoB), which is a risk factor for arteriosclerosis. We are currently looking at how ApoB assembles into lipid containing particles, to better understand how the protein behaves and the structural requirements for lipid particle formation. I work on this project in collaboration with Dr Nassrin Dashti at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.
Anti-bacterial drug discovery project
Humanity is besieged with the constant onslaught of bacteria and viruses on a daily basis, and we are slowly falling behind in this battle. Over the past few months outbreaks of salmonella have bedeviled our food supply, hospitals are constantly plagued with Staphylococcus infections that are resistant to antibiotics, and in one national park over 10,000 people were potentially infected by hantavirus. New weapons are needed in the fight to help inhibit and prevent these infections. Our research is focused at looking at novel means to prevent/inhibit bacterial infections/blooms in our community. The bacteriophage project is trying to isolate and identify naturally occurring bacteriophages in our community that could be used to treat bacterial skin infections. The unnatural amino acids project it trying to determine the effectiveness of d-amino acids in inhibiting bacterial infections of the skin and bacteria that cause food poisoning. The environmental bacteriophage project wants to isolate and purify bacteriophages in our marine estuaries to study their ability to control bacterial blooms.
Staphylococcus aureus is a very common pathogenic bacterium in the human population. Recently some strains of Staphylococcus aureus have developed resistance to antibiotic drugs. It is imperative to human health that treatments are developed that can destroy the bacteria even after it mutates and bacteriophages are a promising approach. Bacteriophages are viruses that only infect bacteria and are specific to the particular bacteria they infect. These bacteriophages are naturally occurring in the population and are harmless to the human host they populate, often being beneficial in their ability to control microbial populations. Unlike static drugs, bacteriophages can evolve with the bacteria to constantly keep up with the mutating pathogens. The purpose of this project is to address two questions about these naturally occurring bacteriophages; does the general population contain bacteriophages that are lytic against Staphylococcus aureus and can we isolate and identify these bacteriophages based on genomic fingerprinting and polymerase chain reaction?
Student researchers (Riane Petersman and Derek Pride)
Unnatural Amino Acids
Unnatural Amino Acids project looks at the use of d-amino acids to suppress bacterial and viral infections. d-amino acids are very rare, as the majority of amino acids are in the left-handed configuration (l-amino acids). The d and l prefix explains the conformation of the amino acid. Chemically they are similar, but their structures are mirror images of each other (look at your hands to get an idea). For a reason that is not fully understood, nature has selected the l configuration for amino acids, and almost every amino acid is in that confirmation (similar to the fact that most people are right handed). Because the confirmation is not complementary d-amino acids are not naturally incorporated into proteins, and if they are, the protein is often non-functional. If a protein is non-functional it could lead to the destruction or inhibition of pathogen growth. This project will look at d-amino acids’ (lysine, arginine, glutamic acid, methionine, isoleucine, and leucine) ability to inhibit growth of six genera of bacteria (Escherichia, Salmonella, Streptococcus, Bacillus, Vibrio, and Staphylococcus) and three strains of viruses (T2, T4, and X174). Salmonella and Escherichia are common bacteria that cause food poisoning on fruits and meats. Streptococcus is the bacterium responsible for strep throat, common with any child in elementary school. Staphylococcus is a common bacterium found on skin that can sometimes cause dangerous skin infections known as the flesh-eating bacteria. The other two bacteria were selected because they can serve as a model organism for other pathogenic bacteria too dangerous to handle in the lab.
Student researchers (Jordan Wesel and Ina Troutman)
This project is in the beginning phases where techniques for detection are currently being investigated. The first stage is to evaluate whether the properties of seawater (salinity, pH and dissolved oxygen content) effect the sensitivity of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) used to identify bacteriophages in water samples from environmental samples (real world conditions). The effect of the different water characteristics on the sensitivity of the PCR identification of virus particles will be analyzed to determine what sensitivity levels bacteriophage can be detected in these environmental samples with respect to each water property. This will allow a detection threshold to be determined on environmental samples and further test the sensitivity of the protocols developed. Also, this study will look at the effect seawater (salinity, pH, and dissolved oxygen content) has on bacteriophage levels in an estuary. As detailed bacteriophage counting will be done during the study to help determine sensitivity, this data will be valuable in measuring bacteriophage counts. This will also be tied into weather and temperature data collected. This project is currently being funded by a grant from Hobcaw Barnoy.
Student researchers (Joe Cannon, Nick Thurn, and Danielle Scott)
Flood C, Gustafsson M, Richardson PE, Harvey SC, Segrest JP, Boren J.. Identification of the Proteoglycan Binding Site in Apolipoprotein B48. 2002 J Biol Chem Oct. 277(35):32228-32233
Manchekar M, Richardson PE, Forte TM, Datta G, Segrest JP, Dashti N. 2004. Apolipoprotein B-containing Lipoprotein Particle Assembly: Lipid capacity of the nascent lipoprotein particle. 2004. J Biol Chem Sept. 279:39757-66.
Smolenaars MM, Kasperaitis MA, Richardson PE, Rodenburg KW, Van der Horst DJ. Biosynthesis and secretion of insect lipoprotein: involvement of furin in cleavage of the insect apolipoprotein B homologue, apolipophorin-II/I. 2005. J. Lipid Res. Mar. 46(3):412-422
Richardson PE, Manchekar M, Dashti N, Jones MK, Beigneux A, Young SG, Harvey SC, Segrest JP. Assembly of lipoprotein particles containing apolipoprotein-B: structural model for the nascent lipoprotein particle. 2005. Biophys J. Apr. 88(4):2789-2800
Mears JA, Sharma MR, Gutell RR, McCook AS, Richardson PE, Caulfield TR, Agrawal RK, Harvey SC. A Structural Model for the Large Subunit of the Mammalian Mitochondrial Ribosome. 2006. J Mol Biol. Apr. 358(1):193-212
Manchekar M, Richardson PE, Sun Z, Liu Y, Segrest JP, Dashti N. Charged amino acid residues 997-1000 of human apolipoprotein B100 are critical for the initiation of lipoprotein assembly and the formation of a stable lipidated primordial particle in McA-RH7777 cells. 2008 J Mol Biol. Oct 24; 283(43):29251-65.
Galloway SE, Richardson PE, Wertz GW. Analysis of a structural homology model of the 2'-O-ribose methyltransferase domain within the vesicular stomatitis virus L protein.. 2008. Virology. Dec 5;382(1):69-82.
Liu Y, Manchekar M, Sun Z, Richardson PE, Dashti N. Apolipoprotein B-containing lipoprotein assembly in microsomal triglyceride transfer protein deficient McA-RH7777 cells. 2010. J. Lipid Res. Aug;51(8):2253-64.
Margaret Danielle Maggard: Underlying Factors for Mortality Rates Caused by Hypertension in South Carolina. Big SURS (Mar. 2007)
Erin Kelly: Is our environment fighting viruses? Virus and Human Health minisymposium: Celebration of Inquiry (Feb 2009)
Kelly, Erin: Is our environment fighting viruses? 1st Undergraduate Research Competition at Coastal Carolina University (Feb 2009)
Erin Kelly: Is our environment fighting viruses? South Carolina Academy of Science (April 2009)
Sherri Tomlinson, Erin Kelly: UV irradiation on bacteriophage survival. South Carolina Academy of Science (April 2010).
Erin Kelly, Sherri Tomlinson: Is the cure for Staphylococcus infections right before our noses? South Carolina Academy of Science (April 2010).
Gilroy, Sean; Walling, David, “Genetic fingerprinting of T4 bacteriophage”, at the Fourth Annual Undergraduate Research Competition at Coastal Carolina University (March 2012).
Troutman, Ina; Petersman, Riane, “Searching for prophylatic bacteriophage that infect and lyse Staphylococcus aureus or Escherchia coli”, at the Fourth Annual Undergraduate Research Competition at Coastal Carolina University (March 2012).
Cannon, Joe; “The Effects of Salinity, pH and Dissolved Oxygen on the Sensitivity of PCR”, at the Fourth Annual Undergraduate Research Competition at Coastal Carolina University (March 2012).
Sean Gilroy and David Walling, “Genetic fingerprinting of T4 bacteriophage”, at the South Carolina Academy of (April 2012).
Ina Troutman and Riane Petersman, “Searching for prophylatic bacteriophage that infect and lyse Staphylococcus aureus or Escherchia coli”, at the South Carolina Academy of Science (April 2012).
Joe Cannon, “The Effects of Salinity, pH and Dissolved Oxygen on the Sensitivity of PCR”, at the South Carolina Academy of Science (April 2012).
Kayla Liland presented her research, “d-amino acid inhibitory properties on bacterial growth ”, at the South Carolina Academy of Science (April 2013).
Joe Cannon and Nick Thurn presented their research, “The Effects of Salinity, pH, Temperature, and Dissolved Oxygen on Sensitivity of PCR Identification of T4 Bacteriophage”, at the South Carolina Academy of Science (April 2013). Won Biochemistry and Chemistry Poster award!
Ina Troutman and Jordan Wesel presented their research project, “Searching for bacteriophages in the collegiate population”, at the South Carolina Academy of Science (April 2013).
Tomlinson, Sherri The Effect of UV Irradiation On Bacteriophage Survival. (2011) Bridges (5); 90-98.
Chem 111- Chemistry I
Chem 111L- Chemistry Lab I
Chem 301- Chemistry Workshop
Chem 351- Biochemistry I
Chem 351L- Biochemistry lab I
Chem 352- Biochemistry II
Chem 352L- Biochemistry Lab II
Chem 353- Physical Biochemistry
Chem 353L- Physical Biochemistry Lab
Chem 398- Junior Seminar
Chem 399- Biochemistry Research
Chem 499- Medical Phage Research
Chem 499- Viral drug discovery
Chem 499- Phage fingerprinting Research
Chem 499- Environmental Phage Research
Biol 411- Virology
Biol 411L- Virology Lab
Biol 511- Medical Virology