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
Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences