This K24 application provides 33% salary support to Dr. Hauser to allow him to mentor MD or MD/PhD fellows, improve his mentorship skills, and pursue patient-oriented research in the area of hospital-acquired bacterial pathogens. In particular, this award will allow him to continue current research on the role of Pseudomonas aeruginosa type III secretion in the progression of pneumonia. Bacterial type III secretion systems form needle-like structures that inject toxins called "effector proteins" directly into the cytosol of host cells. The goal of this study is to determine how P. aeruginosa wields effector proteins in vivo to cause severe pneumonia. The focus will be on interactions between the host innate immune system and effector proteins. The relevance of these findings will be confirmed in human patients infected with P. aeruginosa. In addition to expediting current research, this award will allow Dr. Hauser to expand his research into a new area. Approaches used in the past to address the question of why some P. aeruginosa strains are more virulent than others will now be applied to another hospital-acquired pathogen: Acinetobacter baumannii. Accessory genomic elements (genetic material found in some strains but not in others) will be identified that encode pathogenic factors and enhance the virulence of strains containing them. These markers for hypervirulent strains will be validated in human patients with A. baumannii infections. Both these projects further characterize disease mechanism by utilizing studies involving face-to-face contact with patients. They are thus ideal training vehicles for junior clinician investigators. In summary, this K24 award will provide salary support and research funds to allow Dr. Hauser to spend more of his time mentoring clinical fellows in patient-oriented research, to expand his patient-oriented research activities, and to enhance his mentoring skills.

Public Health Relevance

This K24 award provides salary support for Dr. Hauser to allow him to spend 33% of his time mentoring MD fellows, performing patient-oriented research, and enhancing his mentoring skills. The expanded research program in patient-oriented research will focus on the hospital-acquired pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii, and will provide ideal vehicles for the training of junior clinician investigators.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24)
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Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research Committee (MID)
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Korpela, Jukka K
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Northwestern University at Chicago
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Fitzpatrick, Margaret A; Ozer, Egon; Bolon, Maureen K et al. (2015) Influence of ACB complex genospecies on clinical outcomes in a U.S. hospital with high rates of multidrug resistance. J Infect 70:144-52
Allen, Jonathan P; Ozer, Egon A; Hauser, Alan R (2014) Different paths to pathogenesis. Trends Microbiol 22:168-9
Wang, Nengding; Ozer, Egon A; Mandel, Mark J et al. (2014) Genome-wide identification of Acinetobacter baumannii genes necessary for persistence in the lung. MBio 5:e01163-14
Ozer, Egon A; Allen, Jonathan P; Hauser, Alan R (2014) Characterization of the core and accessory genomes of Pseudomonas aeruginosa using bioinformatic tools Spine and AGEnt. BMC Genomics 15:737
Rangel, Stephanie M; Logan, Latania K; Hauser, Alan R (2014) The ADP-ribosyltransferase domain of the effector protein ExoS inhibits phagocytosis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa during pneumonia. MBio 5:e01080-14
Tran, Cindy S; Rangel, Stephanie M; Almblad, Henrik et al. (2014) The Pseudomonas aeruginosa type III translocon is required for biofilm formation at the epithelial barrier. PLoS Pathog 10:e1004479
Chuang, Chih-Hsien; Wang, Yi-Hsin; Chang, Hsin-Ju et al. (2014) Shanghai fever: a distinct Pseudomonas aeruginosa enteric disease. Gut 63:736-43
Ozer, Egon A; Fitzpatrick, Margaret A; Hauser, Alan R (2014) Draft Genome Sequence of Acinetobacter baumannii Strain ABBL099, a Multidrug-Resistant Clinical Outbreak Isolate with a Novel Multilocus Sequence Type. Genome Announc 2: