January 12, 2018

Werth and Xu awarded $1.86M NIH grant to continue MRSA investigation

Medicinal Chemistry Assistant Professor Libin Xu (left), Pharmacy Assistant Professor Brian Werth (right), are pictured in conversation with Medicinal Chemistry’s Senior Fellow, Kelly Hines (center). Their research earned them the inaugural award from the UWSOP Faculty Innovation Fund, which provides financial support for one to two awards of up to $20,000 each for high-risk, innovative research projects.

Medicinal Chemistry Assistant Professor Libin Xu (left), Pharmacy Assistant Professor Brian Werth (right), are pictured in conversation with Medicinal Chemistry’s Senior Fellow, Kelly Hines (center).Alex Levine

Pharmacy’s Brian Werth and grant coinvestigator UWSOP Medicinal Chemistry’s Libin Xu will continue their novel research into antibiotic resistance mechanisms in the superbug, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The team were recently awarded a 4-year, $1.86 million NIH R01 grant as principal investigator, which is an exceptional accomplishment for a young investigator.

With Libin’s expertise in ion mobility-mass spectrometry (IM-MS) analysis of lipids and Brian’s expertise in antibiotic resistance, they are working to understand the mechanisms of cross-resistance among antibiotics that target the bacterial cell membrane and cell wall.

This work could lead to the identification of novel targets for resistance-modifying therapeutics or more sensitive diagnostics to detect resistance.

In addition, the team received a UW Royalty Research Fund award of $38,175 for their project, “Targeting Altered Lipid Metabolism in Antiobiotic-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus.” The RRF is funded from royalty and licensing fee income generated by the UW technology transfer program. The fund supports UW faculty seeking to advance new directions in research in disciplines for which external funding opportunities are minimal; for faculty who are junior in rank; and if the award might provide opportunities to increase applicants’ competitiveness for subsequent funding.

To read more about Brian’s collaboration with Libin Xu began with an outing to the College Inn Pub and a new UWSOP Faculty Innovation Grant, click here.

 

To study with researchers like Drs. Werth and Xu, click on the links for more information about our Graduate Programs in Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutics, Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy, and Biomedical Regulatory Affairs.