Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Northeastern Biologist Receives $5.5 Million NIH Grant to Study Tolerant Bacteria

28.09.2009
Northeastern University biologist Kim Lewis has received a $5.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate why antibiotics are not effective for certain infectious diseases.

The five-year project, part of the NIH Director’s Transformative Program (T-R01), will focus on three types of disease-producing bacteria to determine how dormant subpopulations of these microorganisms survive, re-emerge and re-infect after antibiotic treatments.

Lewis is one of 42 recipients of the T-R01 grants, a set of NIH Common Fund grants that allow scientists to propose bold, new research ideas whose pursuit may require significant resources. The grants do not have budget caps and do not require applicants to submit preliminary results.

"The appeal of the …T-R01 program is that investigators are encouraged to challenge the status quo with innovative ideas, while being given the necessary resources to test them," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins.

Lewis and his team have discovered that pathogens responsible for chronic infections form small populations of dormant cells, known as persister cells, that are not killed by antibiotics. When antibiotic treatment ceases, persister cells grow and repopulate, causing relapse.

“We are investigating the molecular mechanism responsible for the formation of dormant cells that lead to antibiotic tolerance,” said Lewis, who heads the Antimicrobial Discovery Center at Northeastern. “The goal of this research is to inform the future of drug discovery, so that these currently untreatable infections can be cured.”

The research will focus on what Lewis calls the super persister phenomenon, where mutant forms of the pathogen produce more persister cells. Currently, clinical microbiology laboratories measure only the presence of active bacteria, not dormant persister cells.

“I hope that our work will change clinical lab practices to include tests that can detect dormant cells,” said Lewis. “These tests are available for use now and hold significant potential for better treating bacterial infections.”

The planned research will help identify therapies for infections that are often untreatable, such as cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis and wounds that do not heal.

The NIH awarded 115 grants, totaling $348 million, through the three innovative research programs supported by the NIH Common Fund’s Roadmap for Medical Research: the NIH Director’s Transformative R01 (T-R01) Awards, Pioneer Awards, and New Innovator Awards. The Common Fund, enacted into law by Congress through the 2006 NIH Reform Act, supports cross-cutting, trans-NIH programs with a particular emphasis on innovation and risk taking.

Jenny Catherine Eriksen | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.neu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fine organic particles in the atmosphere are more often solid glass beads than liquid oil droplets
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

nachricht Study overturns seminal research about the developing nervous system
21.04.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>