The following are recent instances of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine and Wellman Center researchers being covered by the media.

2018 ASLMS Research Grant Award
Congratulations to Leon Leanse, PhD along with his mentor Tianhong Dai, PhD on receiving the 2018 ASLMS Research Grant Award.

Project Title: Elucidating the molecular mechanisms involved in antimicrobial blue light (aBL) therapy and its synergistic action within quinine.

Source and type of award: American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) Research Grant

Brief summary of specific aims:
With the rise in antimicrobial resistance, it is essential that we look to other, 'non-antibiotic' strategies, e.g. antimicrobial blue light (aBL), as alternative methods to treat infections. aBL therapy is a novel and effective approach for the treatment of infections caused by different pathogens. Although aBL has been shown to be highly effective in inactivating pathogens, varied sensitivities are often observed between microbial species, with some eliciting significantly high relative resistances. Therefore, it is vital that approaches, such as aBL combination therapies, are investigated, so we may improve microbial inactivation while simultaneously providing safer and more timely care to patients. This proposal represents the first instance where the synergistic effect of aBL and quinine will be investigated. Our hypotheses are (1): aBL-quinine therapy will offer an improved inactivation efficacy of numerous microbial species; (2): elucidating the transcriptional portrait of bacteria exposed to aBL or aBL-quinine will reveal novel mediators of their respective activities. Therefore, the following aims will be completed:

Aim 1: Investigate the synergistic effect of aBL-Q-HCL therapy against numerous bacteria: in vitro and in vivo. Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria will be treated with aBL-Q-HCL to determine whether any improvement in the antimicrobial efficacy is observed (against aBL or Q-HCL alone). Inactivatoon of planktonic cells and cells within biofilms (monomicrobial and polymicrobial) will be tested, with different aBL irradiances and Q-HCL concentrations. Superficial mouse skin infections caused by different Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria will be treated (after a 3 or 24-hour incubation) with aBL-Q-HCL to establish any improvement in the treatment efficacy (against aBL or Q-HCL alone). Scanning and transmission electron microscopy will be performed on cells treated with aBL-QHCL to predict the mechanism of action. Any cytotoxic effect of aBL-Q-HCL therapy to host cells will be determined using the MTT tetrazolium assay.

Aim 2: Elucidate the transcriptional portrait of P. aeruginosa, when exposed to aBL or aBL-Q-HCL, in vitro, using RNA-seq. We will elucidate the transcriptional portrait of, P. aeruginosa, when exposed to aBL or aBL-Q-HCL, in vitro. Highly differentially expressed genes will be targets of defined mutagenesis. Up-regulated genes will be deleted from the chromosome, using a sacB markerless mutation strategy. Mutants found to be significantly more resistant/sensitive to aBL or aBL-Q-HCL will be heterologously complemented with the native gene using pUCP19. Complemented strains that regain wild-type sensitivity to aBL or aBL-Q-HCL, represent mediators of aBL or aBL-QHCL activity.

Congratualtion Leon!

2018 Society of American Asian Scientists in Cancer Research (SAASCR) Award
Dr. Tayyaba Hasan has been selected to receive the 2018 Society of American Asian Scientists in Cancer Research (SAASCR) award for her outstanding scientific contributions in the field of cancer research. This award will be presented at the Annual American Association of Cancer Research meeting in Chicago, IL on April 15, 2018.

National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Fellows
Congratulations to Rox Anderson, MD who has been chosen for induction into the National Academy of Inventors to the rank of NAI Fellow for 2017.

The NAI Fellows Selection Committee chose Dr. Anderson for induction as he has "demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society." The Fellows Induction Ceremony to receive this award will be held on April 5, 2018 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.

Please see the NAI Fellows Program for more information or for the full list of current NAI Fellows.