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NIH R01 Grant Awards for PHRI Faculty

KochDr. Chaoyang Xue at PHRI received a new NIH R01 grant entitled “The role of inositol in Cryptococcus biology and pathogenesis.” The grant studies Cryptococcus neoformans, a deadly fungal pathogen that exhibits pronounced neurotropism: it is the leading cause of fungal meningitis. How C. neoformans cells traverse the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to infect the central nervous system (CNS) remains poorly understood. Dr. Xue’s group identified inositol, one abundant metabolites in the brain, as a host factor to promote fungal virulence during CNS infection. The goal of this grant is to obtain a detailed understanding of the mechanism by which C. neoformans acquires and utilizes host inositol to establish human brain infection. The grant proposes to 1) define inositol sensing and metabolic pathways required for modifying fungal cell surface structure; 2) characterize the mechanism of inositol-mediated promotion of C. neoformans BBB crossing and CNS infection; and 3) define the transcriptional circuits regulating inositol-dependent processes during cryptococcal brain infection. Together, these studies will elucidate a novel contribution of a brain metabolite, inositol, to the development of life-threatening fungal meningitis. As such, these studies promise to provide substantial insight into mechanisms by which pathogens cross the BBB and establish CNS infections.

Two other PHRI faculty were also awarded a new NIH RO1 grant. Dr. Barry Kreiswirth received a grant for his studies describing “The molecular basis of the carbapenem resistance epidemic.” This grant relates to Carbapenem resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKp) which is epidemic in New York City hospitals and is now also reported globally. CRKp infections present a major clinical challenge often resulting in poor therapeutic indices; however, the epidemiology and molecular basis driving the epidemic remains poorly understood. The studies proposed in the grant are designed to decipher the nature of an expanding epidemic, both from a local/global epidemiological and biologic perspective, and identify genetic and/or phenotypic traits catalyzing this epidemic. PHRI investigator Dr. Neeraj Chauhan has received a NIH R01 grant for his work “The Candida albicans acetylome in fungal virulence.” The grant includes Dr. Karl Kuchler, Medical University of Vienna, as a Co-investigator. The goal of the proposed research is to define the role of protein acetylation in C. albicans pathogenesis, with a long-term objective of identifying new drug targets for antifungal therapies. Lysine acetylation is a well-established major mechanism of regulating protein function, and lysine acetylases have been shown to play important roles in many cellular processes. However, while C. albicans contains several conserved lysine acetylases, their functions in fungal morphogenesis and virulence have remained unexplored. The main objective of this grant is to identify and characterize both histone and non-histone target genes of a paradigm acetyl transferase, Hat1 at the genome scale, and to investigate its role in regulating ncRNA processing in C. albicans. The proposed research will provide fundamental insights into C. albicans pathogenesis and virulence, potentially laying the foundation for new antifungal therapeutic strategies.

  World TB Day: Thursday, March 24, 2016

KochMarch 24, 2016, was World Tuberculosis Day (TB Day). On March 24, 1882, Dr. Robert Koch announced the discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB). During this time, TB killed one out of every seven people living in the United States and Europe. Dr. Koch’s discovery was the most important step taken toward the control and elimination of this deadly disease. In 1982, a century after Dr. Koch's announcement, the first World TB Day was sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD). The event was intended to educate the public about the devastating health and economic consequences of TB, its effect on developing countries, and its continued tragic impact on global health. Today, World TB Day is commemorated across the globe, but more must be done to raise awareness about the effects of TB. Among infectious diseases, TB remains the second leading killer of adults in the world, with approximately1.5 million TB-related deaths in 2013. Until TB is controlled, World TB Day won’t be a celebration, but it is a valuable opportunity to educate the public about the devastation TB can spread and how it can be stopped. PHRI has a long history of research on the research and clinical aspects of TB. This year, several faculty members from PHRI and other departments at the New Jersey Medical School participated in the World TB Day symposium that was held on March 31 and April 1. This event was hosted at PHRI.

Follow this link to download a PDF copy of the World TB Day Symposium Agenda

A history on Tuberculosis research at PHRI can be read in the following PDF document

Faculty Positions Infectious Diseases Research

The Public Health Research Institute (PHRI) of New Jersey Medical School - Rutgers University located in Newark, New Jersey, is recruiting a new faculty member at the middle or senior levels to join a growing group of 23 laboratories. PHRI is a leading infectious diseases research center that emphasizes basic and translational sciences. Candidates must have training and experience of the highest quality, and a NIH funded research program addressing critical questions in cell biology, immunology and molecular biology that offer novel insights into pathogenicity, as well as innovative approaches for new vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. The PHRI Center is housed in a state of the art research facility that has extensive core services, including nationally designated BL3 laboratory and animal facilities, X-ray facility for structural studies and applied genomics center. The PHRI Center offers a robust and highly collegial research environment, generous start-up funds, and a comprehensive benefits package. Candidates should submit a curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests and accomplishments and a list of at least three references.

Any questions or applications should be sent to: Dr. Barry Kreiswirth, Public Health Research Institute, Rutgers, New Jersey Medical School, 225 Warren Street, Newark, NJ 07103. Telephone: (973) 854-3240. Fax: (973) 854-3101. Email: kreiswba@njms.rutgers.edu

Please note that effective July 1, 2013, as a result of the New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Restructuring Act, several units from the former University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) are now part of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS). For the purposes of payroll and benefits administration, the above position is a legacy UMDNJ position at Rutgers, and is eligible for benefits associated with legacy UMDNJ positions.

The PHRI is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

To download a PDF copy of this employment opportunity advertisement, which appeared in the February 7, 2014, issue of Science click here

  10.10.16   www.mdlinx.com: CDC funds 34 innovative projects to combat antibiotic resistance
  09.20.16   CDC news: New data show antibiotic use in U.S. hospitals Is still too high
  09.06.16   www.mdlinx.com: Researchers identify multidrug-resistant E. coli bacteria from New Jersey patient
  08.22.16   www.msn.com: D.A. Henderson, doctor who eradicated smallpox, dies
  08.02.16   www.mdlinx.com: Travel precautions issued for Miami neighborhood with active Zika spread
  08.02.16   www.mdlinx.com: Zika reaches epidemic level in Puerto Rico
  08.02.16   www.mdlinx.com: $5.1 million awarded to help develop rapid Zika diagnostic test
  08.02.16   www.mdlinx.com: CARB-X project aims to speed the fight against antimicrobial resistance
  07.01.16   www.nytimes.com: As experts confront the hazards of Zika, fear and uncertainty hover
  07.01.16   www.cdc.gov: Clinical alert to U.S. healthcare facilities: Global emergence of invasive infections caused by the multidrug-resistant yeast Candida auris

  11.28.16   We regret to announce the passing of Dr. Kendyl Kurth Monroe, former Board Chairman of the Public Helath Reserach Insitute. Dr. Monroe's Obituary can be read at www.legacy.com.
  10.06.16   Dr. David Perlin and his group has been awarded a $300,000 contract by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate genetic mechanisms and factors fueling emergence of antifungal drug resistance in the clinic by the common fungal pathogen Candida glabrata. For details on the award, visit www.newswise.com and ored.rutgers.edu
  09.27.16   Two postdoctoral positions are available at PHRI. For details, visit Employment Opportunities
  08.03.16   Dr. David Perlin, executive director of PHRI, contributed to an article "The Danger of Ignoring Tuberculosis" that appeared in The Atlantic. To read the article, please visit www.theatlantic.com



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