Researcher Gets Grant for Antibiotics Investigation | Granite City News
Susanne DiSalvo, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville College of Arts and Sciences, received the highly competitive CAREER Prize from the National Science Foundation totaling $ 463,557.
The award supports his research, Population and Evolutionary Dynamics of Bacteriophage-Symbiont-Host Interactions: Development of a Multilayer Model Microbiome. His findings will shed light on the evolution of the host virus and could shed light on alternative strategies for treating bacterial infections.
“I feel extremely lucky,” said DiSalvo. “This grant will fund a long-term project in my laboratory integrating bacteriophages (bacteria viruses) into my research program that focuses on bacterial infections in an amoeba host system. Bacteriophages are very ubiquitous in the environment and play an important role in bacterial prevalence and evolution. With the increase in antibiotic resistance, interest in the use of phages to treat bacterial infections has grown, but their long-term efficacy and potential to drive the evolution of their bacterial targets in an individual. treated are not well understood. This project seeks to shed light on the dynamic results of phage processing in a treatable model system. “
“The CAREER Fellowship is the most prestigious NSF award a faculty member can receive early in their career,” said Jerry Weinberg, Associate President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School. “This award is a recognition of Dr. DiSalvo’s accomplishments, as well as NSF’s investment in his potential to advance knowledge and education in his field of research.
DiSalvo emphasizes the importance of publicly investing in science, the value of which has become evident amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The fact that there are effective vaccines against Sars-Cov-2 within a year of its emergence is the product of decades of basic and translational science research,” she explained. “This would not have been possible without the research and infrastructure funded by the federal government. The current focus on supporting science makes me optimistic about our future, especially in training future scientists who can continue to solve future challenges.
Funding from the NSF CAREER Award will allow DiSalvo to train several students in practical inquiry-based research.
“I will be able to support graduate and undergraduate students in my research lab with these funds and integrate key research elements into my teaching courses – particularly microbiology and virology – enabling a large number of students to acquire valuable scientific skills while directly contributing to new discoveries. ”Said DiSalvo.
“A typical student project involves a mix of collaborative and independent work planning, driving experimental strategy, and analyzing and interpreting the results,” she added. “Students participate in a variety of microbial, molecular, and computational work, and attend weekly laboratory meetings to discuss scientific literature, research advancements, career goals, and many other topics beyond science. research. There is a lot of camaraderie in the lab, and the students not only work hard on their own projects, but also easily help each other and make the lab a fun and friendly place.
DiSalvo also won the Graduate School’s 2020-2021 Vaughnie Lindsay New Investigator Award. According to DiSalvo, the award was instrumental in advancing his project on the mechanisms underlying Paraburkholderia infections.
“Through this work, I was able to identify the genes of the amoeba host that play an important role in mediating the infection process and, in particular, in the host’s defense against high levels of infection. She explained. “This discovery allows me to develop a hypothesis-based strategy to discover the mechanisms by which host factors facilitate or inhibit the effectiveness of bacterial infections.”
She plans to use these results to develop a proposal for a future external grant submission.