Michael Thomas Tiedemann


Michael Tiedemann


Michael Tiedemann was born in Sudbury, Ontario. He attended LoEllen Park S.S. and finished high school in 2003. Michael is currently on the UWO Fencing Team and fences Epee. He also enjoys squash, mountain biking and staying late in the lab.

Graduate Degree(2007-present)

Currently a TA for Inorganic Chemistry 271a and Chemistry 024b

Michael is currently working on heme transport in Staphylococcus aureus.

Project Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus, an antibiotic resistant bacterium, is becoming a
substantial problem in hospitals and communities worldwide. It is responsible for
numerous deaths. Infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus can range from superficial wound lesions to more severe infections such as pneumonia, osteomyelitis and bacteremia(1). Treatment for Staphylococcus aureus is costly and can still result in patient death due to the bacteria’s growing resistance to antibiotics such as methicillin. Staphylococcus aureus is now known as a superbug.

Bacterial survival is largely dependant on iron scavenging. An important host
defense mechanism involves sequestering iron in transport and storage proteins such as hemoglobin or ferritin. Staphylococcus aureus has adopted specialized mechanisms for scavenging iron from the host and is largely successful via specialized iron scavenging pathways. The recently identified cell wall and membrane-associated iron regulated surface determinant (Isd) proteins is one such pathway. The Isd proteins allow the bacterium to scavenge iron from the heme in hemoglobin. There are several Isd proteins located at different depths in the cell wall and membrane (IsdA, IsdB, IsdC, IsdE and IsdF). However, little is known about the overall scavenging mechanism, which may serve as a route for killing the bacteria.

The ultimate goal of Staphylococcus aureus research is to understand how the
bacterium scavenges iron and from this knowledge find a cure or exploit a weakness and kill it without using antibiotics. Through the use of molecular modeling,
electrospray ionization mass spectroscopy and mutation of the amino acids that facilitate heme binding, a mechanism of heme transport in Staphylococcus aureus will be determined so that a “large” picture of how this bacterium functions is created. This may lead to identification of a possible weakness in this mechanism and subsequently, exploiting this weakness in Staphylococcus aureus will kill the bacterium.

(1) Tenover, F.C., and Gorwitz, R. J. (2006) in Gram-positive pathogens (Fischetti, V.A., Novick, R. P., Ferretti,
J. J., Portnoy, D.A., and Rood, J.I., Eds.) pp 526-534, ASM Press, Washington, DC.

Undergraduate Degree (2003-2007)

H.B.Sc. Specialization in Chemistry with a Minor in Advanced Chemistry from the University of Western Ontario

Undergraduate Thesis: Radical Cleavage of Monolayers for Patterning using Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy (SECM) (Supervised by Dr. Mark Workentin and Dr. Zhifeng Ding)

Undergraduate Thesis Abstract
Currently unavailable


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