Our People

George Mason University is uniquely positioned for discovering novel antibiotic leads and druggable targets to counter the growing challenge of antibiotic resistance and forestall a post-antibiotic era.  We have assembled a multidisciplinary team with extensive experience in the fields of proteomics, mass spectrometry, materials science, microbiology, molecular biology, and biochemistry. We have developed a powerful suite of technologies and expertise for large-scale analyses of biomolecules for the discovery, assessment, and validation of novel antimicrobials. Our discovery process, which combines nanoparticle-based peptide enrichment with advanced mass spectrometry allows us to identify potential antimicrobial peptides that would be virtually undetectable using conventional discovery methods. Furthermore, our team is capable of evaluating the performance starting with initial testing at the lab bench all the way through testing in animal infection models.

Principal Investigators

headshot-barney-bishopBarney Bishop, PhD is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at George Mason University. Dr. Bishop received a PhD in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1997, where his graduate research focused on peptide chemistry. Dr. Bishop then joined the laboratory of Dr. Lynne Regan at Yale University as a postdoctoral associate where his research focused on protein engineering and biophysical characterization. From spring of 2001 until the fall of 2003, Dr. Bishop was a Senior Research Scientist at New River Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel pro-drug and drug delivery technologies. New River Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Shire Pharmaceuticals in 2007.

Dr. Bishop joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at George Mason University in the fall of 2003. His current research interests include antimicrobial peptides, the design of novel therapeutic agents for combating infection, and development of new technologies and strategies for the discovery and identification of antimicrobials from biological and environmental samples.

Dr. Bishop currently serves on the scientific advisory boards of two companies: Kempharm, Inc., an early-phase biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of new and safer treatments for pain, AD/HD and other illnesses and Ceres Nanosciences, LLLP, a company focused on commercializing hydrogel technologies that have been developed by researchers at George Mason University.

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headshot-monique-vanhoekMonique Van Hoek, PhD is an associate professor in the School of Systems Biology at George Mason University. She received her bachelors degree in Biochemistry from the University of Victoria (Canada). She received her PhD from the University of Virginia, Department of Microbiology working in the Parsons-Weber-Parsons group. Dr. van Hoek then worked for Boehringer-Mannheim, which then became Roche Molecular Biochemical Division, for many years, developing and launching new biochemical products for life-science researchers.

She joined George Mason University in 2002.  Dr. van Hoek conducts her research in the School of Systems Biology and the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases with a focus on gram-negative biothreat bacterial agents Francisella and Burkholderia, novel antimicrobials and host-pathogen interactions.

Dr. van Hoek has received the J. Shelton Horsley Research Award, Virginia Academy of Science (May 2009), the Teaching Award, College of Science, George Mason University (2011) and the Mentoring Award, OSCAR Students as Scholars program, George Mason University (2013).

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