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IDSA Education and Research Foundation Young Investigator Award in Infectious Diseases

Current Award Winner
 William Miller

William R. Miller, M.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and with the Center for Antimicrobial Resistance and Microbial Genomics (CARMiG) at The University of Texas McGovern Medical School. He received his medical degree and completed his residency training in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics at the McGovern Medical School. He also completed a fellowship in adult infectious diseases at McGovern Medical School and the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center program, where he pursued research on antimicrobial resistance under the mentorship of Drs. Cesar A. Arias and Barbara E. Murray.

Dr. Miller’s research interests involve the clinical impact and mechanistic bases of antimicrobial resistance in healthcare-associated pathogens. The rise of antimicrobial resistance presents a clear challenge to the delivery of modern healthcare around the globe, with an estimated 700,000 lives lost annually due to infections by resistant pathogens. In the hospital setting, Pseudomonas aeruginosa affects vulnerable patient populations such as those in the intensive care unit and is a leading cause of ventilator associated pneumonia, bloodstream and urinary tract infections. This organism possesses a formidable array of antimicrobial resistance determinants, leading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to label multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa a serious threat. 


In this proposal, Dr. Miller will investigate the evolving landscape of carbapenem-resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a major metropolitan area with a collection of isolates from 1999 through the present. Using whole genome sequencing in addition to standard phenotypic antimicrobial susceptibility testing, Dr. Miller seeks to understand the changing epidemiology of P. aeruginosa over time and identify trends in the mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance, such as the emergence of acquired β-lactamases. This information is critical, as the majority of carbapenem resistance in P. aeruginosa in the United States to date has been due to mutations in intrinsic genes. The spread of resistance mediated by β-lactamases, especially those with activity against ceftolozane/tazobactam and ceftazidime/avibactam, would have significant consequences for antimicrobial therapy and stewardship efforts. Ultimately, this proposal will provide information that can be translated back to the patient’s bedside to guide empiric selection of antimicrobial therapy and apply knowledge of resistance mechanisms to design effective, personalized therapy for MDR organisms.

 Previous Winners

2016- Katherine Dobbs, MD

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