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Coastal Carolina University
P.O. Box 261954
Conway, South Carolina
Infectious diseases, biochemistry, virology, chemistry, apolipoproteins and their role in heart disease and determining the structure of viral proteins
College of Science
Paul E. Richardson, associate professor of chemistry, joined the Coastal Carolina University faculty in 2004. He earned a bachelor's degree from Lebanon Valley College in 1996, a master's from the University of Southern Maine in 1999, and a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular genetics from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, in 2004. His thesis focused on structural modeling of proteins involved in diseases.
After college Richardson worked for Bayer Pharmaceuticals, testing over the counter drugs (Aspirin, Midol, etc.) In 2009, he was named the Outstanding Rresearcher in Applied Medical Sciences, and in 2012 he was awarded the Harry M. Lightsey Jr. Visiting Scholar award. His research focuses on diseases.
Currently, he is working on lipoproteins and the anti-bacterial drug discovery project. For the lipoprotein project, he uses bioinformatics techniques to develop a structural model of lipoproteins to better understand their function. These all-atom models allow better understanding of how they transport lipids and can cause heart disease (arteriosclerosis). He has developed the current structural model of Apolipoprotein B (ApoB), which is a risk factor for arteriosclerosis.
He is 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. He works on this project in collaboration with Nassrin Dashti at the University of Alabama.
"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," says Richardson. " 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, more than 10,000 people were potentially infected by hantavirus. New weapons are needed in the fight to help inhibit and prevent these infections."
His research is focused at looking at novel means to prevent/inhibit bacterial infections/blooms in the 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 is 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 seeks to isolate and purify bacteriophages in the marine estuaries to study their ability to control bacterial blooms.