Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Research

The Division of Infectious Diseases conducts cutting-edge clinical and laboratory research that seeks to translate novel scientific findings into new approaches for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious disease. The division has played an important role in advances that have shed light on HIV and has impacted the clinical care for patients with HIV/AIDS. Building on that tradition, the division seeks to allow the gains made in genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics research to improve the quality of healthcare to reach all populations, particularly those who bear the greatest burden of infectious diseases.  

T32 Training Grant

Funded by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) T32 Training Grant, the Infectious Disease Education and Science Training Grant trains MD and PhD postdoctoral scientists in translational research.

HIV/AIDS Research

HIV/AIDS is the largest research focus within the division.

 Basic and Translational Research
This section highlights basic and translational research conducted in the Fred and A. Norman Drucker Laboratory for Virology Research

The basic research performed in the Fred and A. Norman Drucker Laboratory for Virology Research is focused on the evolutionary mechanisms underlying host-pathogen interactions, and their role in the emergence, spread, and containment of infectious diseases. The overall goal of the laboratory is to study the nature and extent of viral genetic variation, the biological and evolutionary processes that affect viral populations, and the human genes and their relevant genetic variants that contribute to virus evolution and human disease. Dr. Steven Wolinsky, the Samuel J. Sackett Professor of Infectious Diseases and Director of the Fred and A. Norman Drucker Laboratory, is an international leader in HIV molecular biology and pathogenesis research, with experience in leading and directing large, multicenter projects. Dr. Wolinsky has over 25 years of experience in studying the virus-host interaction and has been the leader of successful NIAID and NIDA-funded programs. The research interests of the laboratory include:

  • Understanding the host determinants of RNA virus pathogenesis and evolution at the molecular and population levels.
  • Investigating the factors that drive the evolution of the virus and influence infection or disease severity.
  • Utilizing systems biology approaches to unveil the innate immune responses against HIV-1 and other viruses (Influenza, Dengue, Chikungunya, ZIKA) infections.
  • Identifying commonly known RNA modifications to human and viral RNA and discover others that may affect HIV infection.
  • Characterizing and examining genetic variants that influence the human response to infection and host susceptibility in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) and applying to antiviral strategies.
  • Employing computational biology & bioinformatics to investigate human responses to viral infections and virus-host interactions. 

Active investigators in the Wolinsky research group:  S. Wolinsky, Eunyoung Kim, R. Lorenzo-Redondo

The Drucker Lab also houses the HIV-1 Translational Research Center. This center works to discover ways to sustain remission of HIV after stopping ART (also called “functional cure”) and prevent HIV infection. It is led by Richard D’Aquila, MD (The Howard Taylor Ricketts Professor of Medicine - Infectious Diseases), who has been translating mechanistic insights into initial and improved therapies for HIV infection for over 25 years. Two unique approaches to sustained remission after stopping antiretroviral treatment (ART) are under active investigation: 

Boosting APOBEC3 (A3)-mediated intrinsic immunity. There are seven members of cellular A3s cytidine deaminases (A3A to A3H) in humans. Some of them are in the cytoplasm (A3D, -F, -G and –H haplotype II). Those A3s can potently inhibit HIV replication via mutagenesis of viral genomes, and are targeted for destruction by HIV to enable its replication. Other members of the A3 family are localized only to the cell nucleus (A3B and A3H haplotype I). A3B is often up-regulated in cancers, inducing mutations into human chromosomal DNA that enhance cancer progression. Understanding mechanisms of regulation of levels of these proteins in cells can suggest innovative strategies for the functional cure of HIV-1 infection, as well as for cancer therapeutics. Four different research approaches are underway:

  • Understanding mechanisms by which small molecules we discovered increase cellular levels of all A3 proteins. (The compounds discovered in collaboration with Gary Schiltz and Meejeon Roh have been patented by Northwestern.)
  • Understanding changes of A3G activity over time during the course of HIV-1 infection, and causal mechanisms. A3G mutagenic activity is detected in HIV genomes during acute HIV-1 infection and not in chronic HIV-1 infection.
  • Understanding mechanisms for transcriptional regulation of A3 gene expression. This includes A3B gene expression that is known to be up-regulated in many cancers and thereby contributes to oncogenesis, drug resistance and metastasis.
  • Understanding mechanisms for post-translational regulation for A3 protein

Inhibiting metabolic reprogramming essential for HIV replication. Pathogens infect their hosts to co-opt nutrient resources necessary for propagation. Like all viruses, HIV is an obligate intracellular parasite that requires cellular sources of macromolecules (nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids) for several critical steps of replication. CD4 T cells, the primary target of HIV, are metabolically quiescent in their resting state and potently restrict virus infection. However, this barrier to infection is successfully overcome by a multitude of signals that cause T cell activation and “metabolic rewiring” necessary to fully support HIV replication. Understanding the molecular underpinnings of signals that increase susceptibility to HIV infection will inform the design of novel therapeutic interventions for HIV/AIDS. Our current research efforts contribute to the following:

  • Understanding mechanisms by which metabolic reprogramming in activated T cells contributes to chronic inflammation and co-morbidities during HIV disease.
  • Understanding how metabolic reprogramming of T cells facilitates HIV recrudescence after ART interruption.                                         
  • Understanding molecular mechanisms of cross-talk between HIV, host intrinsic restriction factors (including APOBEC3s), and host metabolism.

Other active investigators in the D'Aquila group: C. Song, H. Taylor, I. Clerc, G. Scholtes, N. Calantone

 Clinical HIV Research
Read more about the Division's clinical HIV research

Clinical HIV research in the Division of Infectious Diseases is largely conducted through the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG), which has been funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1987. The ACTG is the largest network of expert clinical and translational investigators and therapeutic clinical trials units in the world, including sites in low and middle-income countries. The mission of the ACTG is to cure HIV infection, reduce immune dysfunction/inflammation, and lower the burden of disease due to HIV infection and related complications or co-infections, such as tuberculosis and viral hepatitis.  Dr. Babafemi Taiwo is the Principal Investigator of the Chicago Clinical Trials Unit (CCTU) and also leads investigator-initiated HIV clinical research studies.      

Clinical Research Interests: 

  • Novel antiretroviral treatment strategies to optimize virologic control, including two-drug regimens and injectable long-acting antiretroviral therapy (ART)
  • Optimizing ART adherence and assessment of predictors of non-adherence
  • HIV and treatment of chronic viral hepatitis B and C co-infection
  • Effect of ART on neurocognitive impairment, frailty and age-related complications (cancer, bone, renal, cardiovascular, pulmonary and liver diseases)
  • Pathways of molecular aging including telomere biology, mitochondrial dysfunction and epigenetic modification among individuals aging with HIV
  • Immunologic mechanisms and interventions to decrease residual inflammation/immune activation
  • Safe and effective contraception for HIV-infected women on ART
  • Diagnosis and rapid ART during acute HIV infection

Active investigators:  B. Taiwo, F. Palella, C. Achenbach, C. Hawkins, S. Cohn, S. Galvin

Investigator-Initiated Studies:

AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG) 5322:  HIV Infection, Aging & Inflammation Longitudinal Observational Study (HAILO)

HAILO is a prospective, observational, multicenter cohort study involving participants from over 20 AIDS Clinical Trial Units (ACTUs) across the US. Approximately 1000 participants have been enrolled, all of whom received 1 st HAART while ART naive through an ACTG interventional parent clinical trial. Topics at the heart of HAILO’s research mission include the evaluation of the roles that  inflammation and immune dysregulation play among aging ART-treated persons living with HIV infection.
 
At Northwestern, Frank J. Palella Jr MD serves as HAILO’s co-chair and Babafemi Taiwo MBBS as vice-chair. 

 Observational Studies
Read more about the MACS, HOPS, and WIHS observational studies

Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS)

Founded in 1983 by the NIH and conducted by investigators in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Baltimore, the MACS is the longest ongoing natural and treated history cohort study of HIV-infected persons in the world. In this study, over 7000 HIV infected and uninfected men who have sex with men (MSM) undergo semiannual clinical interviews and examinations and sera and cells are collected and stored at each visit. The HIV sero-negative participants serve as a unique control group in which to compare men living with HIV. Visits are comprehensive and include multiple components, such as interviews/questionnaires, physical exams, and a functional status assessment.
 
MACS Participants are seen semiannually. The MACS is a fixed cohort (enrollment has occurred only at specific calendar periods since 1984 in order to expand/replenish the cohort. In Chicago, participants are seen at NU and at the CORE center.
 
Dr. Steven Wolinsky, the Principal Investigator, leads the Chicago site (at which over 400 men are followed) and directs the cutting-edge genetics work that involves all MACS participants nationwide.
 
The initial goal of MACS was to define incident infection and establish the natural history of HIV infection. However, with the development of effective therapies for HIV, the aims of the study have evolved to investigate the health of men living with HIV and to better understand clinical and subclinical predictors, biomarkers, and the pathogenesis of cardiac, pulmonary, renal, hepatic, bone, and central nervous system disease. Additionally, the MACS project explores the functional status and frailty among ART-treated HIV-infected men compared to otherwise similar uninfected MSM.
 
Other areas of active research include sexual and drug use behavior, neuro-cognition, responses to ART, co-infection with viral hepatitis and liver disease in general, HIV-associated cancer risk, including herpes virus effects on cancer pathogenesis, HIV- associated kidney disease, bone disease/fractures and frailty/functional status
 
MACS investigators have authored over 1400 manuscripts to date, published in every major peer-reviewed biomedical journal. These publications range widely in subject matter, and include numerous reports concerning HIV transmission, natural history, pathogenesis, immune response, genetics, co-infections, and associated inflammation and immune dysregulation.
 
Much work has been accomplished through sub-studies over the past several years, especially those involving coronary Ca+ and overall plaque measurement via serial CT angiograms, cardiac MRI on a subset of participants serially measured GFR using iohexol, human papilloma virus  and anal cytology, frailty/fracture risk/bone disease (BOSS Study), and neuroimaging
 
Current and planned sub-studies funded through special supplements made available through NHLBI include:

  1. Identification and characterization of cardiac arrhythmias and conduction abnormalities in HIV-infected compared to HIV-uninfected men using electrocardiograms and ambulatory cardiac monitoring.
  2. Identification and characterization of clinical and subclinical structural cardiac abnormalities in HIV-infected compared to HIV-uninfected men by echocardiography.
  3. Identification and characterization of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in HIV-infected compared to HIV-uninfected men, including pulmonary function testing.
  4. Characterization of sleep apnea and sleep quality, including home sleep testing and activity monitoring. This study is designed to identify associations between obstructive sleep apnea, insulin resistance, subclinical cardiovascular disease, autonomic function, and neurobehavioral outcomes in men with and without HIV infection.

 
Active MACS investigators include: S. Wolinsky, J. Phair, F. Palella, V. Stosor, E. Kim, R. Lorenzo- Redondo, and C. Hawkins

 

The HIV Outpatient Study (HOPS)

HOPS was inaugurated in 1993 by the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC). It is a prospective, observational, nation-wide (6 US cities currently), dynamic cohort (participants can enter or leave observation depending upon when they are seen clinically) of HIV-infected outpatients and their HIV-treating primary care clinicians. Comprehensive clinical data collected during routine outpatient care are entered into the HOPS database on-site and centrally aggregated and managed so they are available for investigative query. Over 10,000 participants have been enrolled since the study’s inception, and there are currently about 3000 active participants. Currently, Frank J. Palella Jr MD is the Principal Investigator of HOPS at Northwestern.

Comprehensive longitudinal data entered into the HOPS electronic database include HIV clinical parameters (T cell subsets, HIV RNA levels, HIV resistance testing results), opportunistic events, and information regarding all non-AIDS diagnoses. These non-Aids diagnoses have become areas of increased investigative focus, as persons with HIV enjoy markedly extended survival consequent to successful treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART). 

HOPS has generated numerous research reports in peer-reviewed biomedical journals. These reports have evaluated outcomes and associated risks in diverse clinical areas. For example, a report on HIV-associated mortality was the first journal article (in NEJM, 1998) that profiled the profound reductions in AIDS-related death and opportunistic disease consequent to HAART use. It remains among the most highly cited articles of the HAART era.

Other areas of research enquiry and publication have included opportunistic disease (AIDS, JAIDS), long term CD4 and HIV RNA responses to ART (AIDS, JAIDS), durability of ART’s effectiveness (AIDS), optimal timing of ART initiation (Annals of Internal Medicine), longitudinal ART use patterns (AIDS), adherence to therapy, ability to safely d/c OI prophylaxis after immune reconstitution (Annals of Internal Medicine), comparison of efficacy/toxicity of various HAART regimens, use of HIV susceptibility testing and associations with survival, responses to therapy (Annals of Internal Medicine), sexual practices and STD co-infections, time spent viremic/cumulative viremia and implications for HIV transmission and mortality, metabolic outcomes including cardiovascular diseases, HIV-associated body habitus changes (lipoatrophy and lipoaccumulation), other chronic non-AIDS comorbidities including bone disease, kidney disease, hyperlipidemia, and ART-related toxicities, bone fractures, and chronic viral hepatitis co-infection.

 

The Chicago Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS)

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has had a profound impact on the health of women. By the end of 2016, 52% of the more than 36.7 million people living with HIV infection were women. HIV infection and the resultant acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) are the leading causes of death among women in their reproductive years (ages 15 to 49). The WIHS is an ongoing prospective cohort study that was started in 1993 by the NIH to understand the development of HIV infections in both treated and untreated women in the United States.  Northwestern University has been an active component of the Chicago WIHS clinical consortia, being one of the 6 initial WIHS sites. Recently, there was an expansion of sites to better represent women with HIV or at risk of HIV in the Southern United States. The core of the national study includes an in depth structured interview, physical and gynecologic examinations, as well as laboratory testing twice a year.  Participants are also invited to participate in various sub-studies related to HIV. After close to 25 years, the WIHS continues to investigate questions at the forefront of HIV research, spanning topics such as women’s reproductive health, clinical outcomes (for example, cardiovascular disease, neuro-cognition, diabetes, and aging), and the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy over time. 
 
For more information on WIHS and the research it has done over the years at the Chicago WIHS site, please visit the Chicago WIHS site https://chicagowihs.org/about/  and the Chicago authored WIHS publications (562 as of November 2017) at https://chicagowihs.org/latest-research/

For more resources, check out:

 
Active investigators: S. Cohn and C. Achenbach

 HIV and Organ Transplantation
Read more about Northwestern's HIV and Organ Transplantation studies

With successes in combination antiretroviral therapy, end organ diseases such as liver and kidney failure have become more prevalent in persons living with HIV infection. Investigators from the Division of Infectious Diseases have established important multi-disciplinary collaborations with the medical center to study the outcomes of organ transplantation in HIV-infected persons. Dr. Stosor has served as the Principal Investigator for one of these multi-disciplinary collaborations: the NIH/NIAID supported Solid Organ Transplantation in HIV: Multi-Site Study. This observational study evaluated the safety and efficacy of kidney and liver transplantation in 275 HIV-infected patients from 20 high volume transplant centers. Thanks to the contributions of this study, organ transplantation is now an accepted and important therapy for HIV-infected patients with end stage kidney and liver disease. 
 
Current areas of research in which Dr. Stosor is the Northwestern Principal Investigator include:

  • Impact of CCR5 blockade on renal allograft function and HIV persistence in HIV-positive kidney transplant recipients (U01AI118594)
  • Utilization of HIV-positive organs for kidney and liver transplantation in HIV-positive persons. Multicenter pilot (liver and kidney) and U01AI134591-01 (kidney) studies focus on safety and post-transplant clinical outcomes, HIV superinfection, and changes in latent reservoirs.

 
Active Investigator(s): Valentina Stosor, MD
 
http://idstudies.cbits.northwestern.edu  and the national website: http://aidscohortstudy.org

 Centers and Programs
Read more about the programs and initiatives at the Center for Global Health and the Center for AIDS Research

The Center for Global Health

The Center for Global Health is one of fourteen centers within the Institute for Public Health and Medicine at Northwestern University ( IPHAM). Under the leadership of Dr. Robert Murphy, the Center for Global Health’s Mission is to promote health equity issues on Northwestern University campuses and build upon the knowledge base in the field of global health through translational research and interdisciplinary education initiatives, both domestically and abroad.
 
CGH brings together leading faculty and students from across the Northwestern University campus to collaborate on research, educational and service initiatives that address critical global health problems, create sustainable partnerships with leading health organizations across the globe, and to train the next generation of global health leaders and scholars. CGH currently partners with academic institutions, NGOs, and community organizations in over 30 countries.

Programs

The Center for Global Health supports activities that provide opportunities for faculty and students to engage in academic programs, innovative research, experiential learning. Several of our Infectious Disease faculty are involved in the following programs:

Global Health Research

The Center has an active research program in collaboration with partners from Nigeria, Tanzania, Mali, and South Africa. This program supports innovative studies and research training programs in HIV and HIV-related co-morbidities, including neurologic diseases, malignancies and viral hepatitis B and C co-infection; non-communicable diseases such as heart disease and liver disease; mycobacterial diseases, and point of care diagnostics.  A number of funding sources are available for fellows who wish to pursue global health research, such as the Post-graduate Fellowship in Global Health and the Catalyzer awards.
 
Specific research projects currently being conducted include:

  • Epigenomic biomarkers of HIV-associated cancers (NCI)
  • Active viral hepatitis diagnosis to support prevention/treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Host-pathogen interactions in a failing lineage of MTBC: M africanum (NIAID)
  • An Assessment of Liver Disease in HIV-infected and HIV/HBV Co-infected Tanzanians
  • Presentation of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Nigerian patients with and without HIV
  • Investigating causes of mortality in HIV and HIV/HBV co-infected Nigerians.

CGH currently has several NIH-Fogarty funded research training programs which have trained over 60 international scientists and researchers to date. 

Medical Education Partnership Initiative – Junior Faculty Development (NIH/FIC D43)

  • UI-MEPI-J of Ibadan, BRAINS of UniLag; STAMINA of UniJos

Frameworks:  Developing Biomedical Engineering Programs in Africa (NIH/FIC D43)

  • University of Ibadan and University of Lagos in Nigeria
  • University of Cape Town
  • Northwestern University

 AIDS International Training and Research Programs (NIH/FC D43)

  • NU Jos, Ibadan and Bamako research development
  • Neurologic HIV/AIDS training in Ibadan, Nigeria
  • HIV and Cancer, Jos, Nigeria
  • Mycobacterial infection training program in Bamako, Mali
  • HBNU Fogarty Research Fellowship (I year program)
  • Emerging Infections in Guinea/Mali (D71; 1 year planning)

 Additional information is available through this link

 

Center for AIDS Research

The Third Coast Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) provides state-of-the-art research resources and services to ID Division faculty, as well as all faculty throughout Northwestern University and nearby partner universities, health departments, clinics and community organizations. The Third Coast CFAR is competitively funded by NIH as part of a national network of institutions with extensive NIH support for HIV-related research. CFAR’s mission is to support the advancement of the entire portfolio of NIH-funded HIV research, to enhance collaboration across all disciplines, and add both value and strategic growth to NIH’s priorities for HIV research.
 
The Third Coast CFAR leads citywide efforts to enhance our collaborative research environment. These initiatives include scientific symposia, a seminar series, and tailored workshops, featuring the work of world-class scientists working to end the HIV epidemic from Chicago and around the globe.
 
Of relevance to the ID Division, the Third Coast CFAR Clinical Sciences Core services include biostatistical analysis, cell and tissue procurement, participant recruitment, and the development of investigator-initiated trials and IND applications. Additional CFAR services, such custom assays for HIV cure and PrEP research, access to health department resources, and consultation in implementation science, promote cross-disciplinary collaborations and expand the capacity of Northwestern’s clinical and translational research programs. The Clinical Sciences Core is also working to build better access to electronic health record-derived HIV outcomes data.
 
The Third Coast CFAR Developmental Core also funds pilot projects aimed at generating preliminary data for NIH applications through semi-annual pilot competitions and other award programs. It also provides additional resources to support early stage investigators as they prepare to submit applications to NIH.
 
 Other Cores support researchers approaching HIV-related issues through virus and immune pathogenesis, behavioral science, social science, and implementation science; emphasis is on cross-talk among them that produces new ideas.
 
Leaders include ID Division faculty members: Richard D’Aquila, MD (PI and Co-director of the Developmental Core) and Babafemi Taiwo, MBBS (Director of the Clinical Sciences Core). Please contact them, or Justin Schmandt , for further information. for further information.

Other Areas of Research

Learn more about the research conducted within our division.

 Transplant Infectious Diseases Research

The Transplant & Immunocompromised Host Infectious Diseases research program focuses on epidemiologic and interventional studies to reduce the impact of infectious complications, with a focus on viral pathogens.

Advances in transplant technique, immunosuppressive therapy, and prophylaxis have improved the outcomes of solid organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.  Despite these advances, infections surrounding transplant procedures remain a persistent cause of morbidity and mortality.  The Transplant & Immunocompromised Host Infectious Diseases research program focuses on epidemiologic and interventional studies to reduce the impact of infectious complications, with a focus on viral pathogens.  The group has been a leading site for pharmaceutical and diagnostic company multi-center trials focused on influenza, RSV, and CMV.  They rely on a team of 2 regulatory coordinators, 3 nurse coordinators and 3 non-nurse coordinators to conduct their studies.  These studies generally include all members of the clinical team for the identification and enrollment of the subjects.  The team also works closely with the Northwestern University Transplant Outcomes Research Collaboration (NUTORC.org) on numerous ongoing projects focused on access and allocation of organs and on optimizing informed consent of candidates in accepting donors with known infectious risks.

Current areas of research include:

  • The Nitazoxanide for Norovirus in Transplant Study: a 5 year, 12 center study, funded by NIAID to understand the epidemiology and virology of transplant patients with norovirus-induced diarrhea treated with nitazoxanide or placebo (NCT03395405, HHSN272201600016C). PI:  Michael Ison.
  • The Safety and Efficacy of hMPV Vaccine in Renal Transplant Candidates Study: a 5 year, 5 center study funded by NCI. It will follow living donor kidney transplant candidates who are vaccinated peri-transplant for 2 years post-transplant to determine ability to sustain seroprotection of patients (NCT03036930, HHSN26100010).  PI:  Michael Ison.
  • The Standard versus High-Dose Influenza in Adult HSCT Study: a 3 year, 4 center study funded by NIAD to understand the safety and relative efficacy of the two flu vaccines 3 months to 2 years post-HSCT (NCT03179761, U01AI32004). Site PI:  Michael Ison.
  • Studies in HIV and Organ Transplantation Site PI: Valentina Stosor
  • The Infectious Complications after Heart Transplantation Study: an ongoing single center prospective study of all heart transplant recipients at Northwestern Memorial Hospital from June 2005-present and includes more than 300 heart transplant recipients. This study is designed to capture infection outcomes after heart transplantation. PI: Valentina Stosor. Co-investigator: Michael, Angarone.

The following studies are being led by current fellows working on TID-related research:

  • The Whole Genome Sequencing of Respiratory Syncytial Virus in Immunocompromised Hospitalized Adults: This study will take RSV isolates from our transplant patients over a multi-year period and perform whole genome sequencing and correlate difference in sequences with clinical course and outcomes. Fellow:  Hannah Nam, MD
  • The Lung Microbiome Changes Over Time Among Lung Transplant Patients with Primary Graft Dysfunction (PGD): This study will leverage the Comprehensive Transplant Center Biobank to identify changes in the lung microbiome in patients with and without PGD over time to gain insight in the changes that occur and how they correlate with clinical outcomes. Fellow:  Scott Roberts, MD.

 Bacterial Pathogenesis Research Program

The bacterial pathogenesis research program in the Northwestern Division of Infectious Diseases aims to uncover mechanisms whereby common hospital-acquired bacterial pathogens establish and maintain disease in human hosts.

Combining whole-genome sequencing of clinical bacterial isolates with pioneering microbial comparative genomics techniques and mechanistic studies of bacterial virulence factors, the program is yielding a greater understanding of the variable armamentarium of healthcare-associated pathogens in a variety of disease states. These states include: acute pneumonia, bloodstream infection, wound infection, chronic pneumonia in patients with cystic fibrosis, and diarrhea. The pathogens currently under investigation are: Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Clostridium difficile.


Current areas of research in which Dr. Hauser is the Northwestern Principal Investigator:

  • Mechanistic Studies of Patatin-like Toxins: The major goal of this project is to characterize the molecular mechanism of P. aeruginosa toxin ExoU. (R01AI053674)
  • Accessory Virulence Factors of Pseudomonas aeruginosa: The major goal of this project is to use comparative genomic approaches to identify novel virulence determinants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. (R01 AI118257)
  • Biomarkers for highly virulent Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains: The major goal of this project is to identify genetic biomarkers for P. aeruginosa strains associated with increased mortality in patients with bloodstream infections.  (R21AI129167). 

 

Current areas of research in which Dr. Ozer is the Principal Investigator:

  • Mediators of Infection in the Pseudomonas aeruginosa Accessory Genome: The major goal of this project is to identify virulence factors that contribute to poor outcomes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia (American Cancer Society MRSG-13-220-01 – MPC)

 

Active Investigators: Alan R. Hauser, MD PhD; Egon A. Ozer, MD PhD.

 Hospital Epidemiology

Research Centers and Programs

The division has 17 NIH-funded investigators, as well as an additional faculty member funded by other grant mechanisms. It receives more than $10 million in annual biomedical research grants from the NIH to support its work. Research initiatives cut across scientific disciplines and institutions.

Clinical Trials

View ongoing clinical trials related to infectious diseases.

Publications

Read about the latest discoveries within our division.  

Contact Us

Lauren Hair, Drucker Lab Administrative Assistant
312-503-2697

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