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Smith receives award for battle against superbugs

Published July 29, 2016

Nick Smith, '18, received the American Society for Microbiology Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) Program Award.

Six scientists were chosen out of the 11,000 attendees and Nick was the only pharmacist, the only pharmaceutical PKPD scientist, the only student and the youngest! His advisor was Brian Tsuji, associate professor, pharmacy practice.

The project he presented at Microbe was titled "Probability of Target Attainment of Meropenem and Polymyxin B Combinations in Carbapenem-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii." This project, and the other projects surrounding it that his team is working on in the lab, revolves around better understanding the pharmacodynamics of antibiotic combination therapy to treat highly resistant superbugs. These infections are typically resistant to the vast majority of antibiotics available, and thus require novel approaches for their treatment. In many cases, clinicians are resorting to polymyxin antibiotics as a last-resort treatment to help fill the void, but the knowledge base on how to use them in combination is still lacking.

"Overall, we hope to discover novel regimens that optimize patient therapy through maximization of bacterial killing, minimization of adverse effects, and suppression of bacterial resistance," Smith said.

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