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B.S., Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
M.D., Ohio State University College of Medicine
Residency in Pediatrics, University of Chicago
Fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University of Chicago
My clinical translational research projects have centered on understanding the epidemiology of children affected by a specific antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus bacterium, community-associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA). Working with a number of other investigators, I am elucidating what specific molecular features are tied to CA-MRSA colonization alone without infection compared to those associated with recurrent and invasive disease. Population based studies have shown invasive infections due to CA-MRSA disproportionately affect certain minority groups, including Native American and African-Americans. Thus, our projects focus on how to better understand why these health disparities might exist for CA-MRSA invasive disease and whether or not these disparities extend into carriage and non-invasive forms of infection.
To define the clinical epidemiology factors associated with CA-MRSA carriage and infection, we have conducted clinical research, using traditional epidemiology survey methods and innovative methods with geographical information system tools. Clinical translational projects are also being conducted to take the bacterial isolates collected from these epidemiology driven studies and identify at a microbiological and molecular level, the types of bacterial strains responsible for carriage and subsequent infection or carriage alone without subsequent infection. Pilot funding has been received from NIH’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Pilot and Collaborative Translational and Clinical Studies Program to develop this line of investigation. These projects are a collaboration between researchers from Morehouse School of Medicine, Emory University, Georgia Tech’s Center for Geographic Information Systems and CDC’s Georgia Emerging Infections Program.
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