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
Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover
First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2018 | Information Technology
17.08.2018 | Life Sciences