Katrine Whiteson, UC Irvine associate professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, and David Pride, associate professor of pathology at UC San Diego, have been awarded a research grant from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The two-year grant will help support their work to develop viruses that infect Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, an opportunistic bacterial pathogen that can infect people with cystic fibrosis.
“Stenotrophomonas is becoming a more common antibiotic-resistant pathogen in chronic infections, and we hope to develop viruses as alternatives to antibiotics. Basic research into the biology of phages, the viruses that infect bacteria, is critical. I am so proud of the students, Joy Suh and Cyril Semillano, who isolated these phages during the pandemic and after years of failed attempts. The funds will support a new doctoral student in my lab, Alisha Monsibais, and we have huge enthusiasm for the project and the opportunity to continue working with David Pride and his group,” said Professor Whiteson.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a donor-funded nonprofit that supports research to advance the care and treatment of cystic fibrosis. Professor Pride is a leader of the UC San Diego Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics (IPATH).