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  • NIH Member Spotlight: Dr. Richard Ebright

    Laboratory Director, Waksman Institute of Microbiology, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ

    Dr. Richard Ebright's research seeks to identify, characterize, and develop small-molecule compounds for application as antituberculosis and broad-spectrum antibacterial agents. He is the principal investigator on three NIH grants at the Rutgers Waksman Institute of Microbiology, an interdisciplinary research institute devoted to excellence in basic research.

    Dr. Ebright’s NIH Supported Research

    • Analysis of the structure and mechanics of bacterial gene expression
    • Design, synthesis, and testing of novel therapeutics for drug-resistant bacteria

    In 2014, Rutgers University received a five-year NIH grant of up to $26 million to lead a major research effort supported by the Centers of Excellence for Translational Research, a public-private partnership that connects prominent scientists from different institutions. Dr. Ebright and his colleagues are working to understand the mechanism of action of bacterial gene expression and develop new forms of antibiotics to combat resistant bacterial pathogens.

    Impact on Patients and Public Health

    The emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria pose an existential threat to modern medicine. There is an urgent need for new antibiotics effective against bacteria resistant to current antibiotics, and the task of discovering and developing new antibiotics often falls to NIH. A cut to the NIH budget would end many, and delay all, projects on antibiotic discovery and development, thereby increasing the risk of a "post-antibiotic era".

    Dr. Ebright’s work contributes to the development of new treatments effective against a broad spectrum of drug-resistant pathogens. It is vital to the NIH’s mission of seeking fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.

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