A Chapman University assistant professor has been awarded an R03 grant from an arm of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
School of Pharmacy Assistant Professor Sherif Elshahawi received $138,000 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for his work on developing antibiotics.
“The increase of the number of microbes that are resistant against current antibiotics is on the rise, making it a global threat,” Elshahawi says.
His lab takes an unconventional approach, using enzymes and chemical substrates to alter the structure of drugs and improve their activity. Recently, his lab developed derivatives of an FDA-approved antibiotic, daptomycin. The derivatives were more potent than daptomycin itself in plate-based assays and could kill resistant bacteria that daptomycin itself could not.
The grant-funded research will “determine the mechanism of action of the new daptomycin derivatives and their activity in animal models,” Elshahawi says.