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University of Wisconsin-Madison

Repurposing of older antibiotics is aim of five year NIH grant

Headshot of Warren Rose, Pharmacy Practice Division

Warren Rose, associate professor (CHS) in the Pharmacy Practice Division, is the principal investigator of new $2.1 million R01 research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases that will study older antibiotics, such as beta-lactams , to enhance the efficacy of newer drugs. An additional focus will include superbugs or MRSA.

Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is becoming increasingly difficult to cure with primary treatments such as vancomycin and daptomycin. Due to limited new antibiotic development, it is important to identify the potential value of older antimicrobials, traditionally considered inactive, but which have shown some clinical benefit when combined with these primary MRSA antibiotics. This study will identify the antibiotic mechanisms and the optimal pharmacokinetics / pharmacodynamics of b-lactam antibiotics in combination with daptomycin and host defense peptides using both in vitro and animal modeling techniques. The study will enhance the targeted selection of appropriate antimicrobial regimens and will have significant impact on the outcomes of patients with severe MRSA infections. Further, this study will provide insight on treating bacterial infections with resistance to daptomycin, which is considered an agent of last resort for severe MRSA infections. The project is a collaboration with co-investigators including a colleague from the School of Pharmacy, Michael Taylor, assistant professor in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Division, physicians, and scientists at UCLA and University of Bonn, Germany.

Rose’s research interests include antimicrobial resistance and pharmacodynamics and antimicrobial effects on host-pathogen interactions.