J. Craig Venter Prevention Epicenter
First Funded: 2021
Overview: The J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) and Cleveland Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Prevention and Intervention Epicenter objectives are to develop novel interventions that will prevent the colonization and spread of antimicrobial resistant (AR) bacteria that cause healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and to develop diagnostics and interventions to combat the colonization by the rapidly emerging fungal pathogen, Candida auris (C. auris).
This Epicenter leverages its network of clinical collaborators at multiple hospitals throughout the United States in inpatient acute care, outpatient, and long-term care settings. JCVI has a longstanding relationship with the Cleveland VA Medical Center’s previous antimicrobial resistant bacteria projects within the GSC and GCID centers and on a currently funded U.S. Department of Defense wound microbiome project.
In addition, this Epicenter benefits from JCVI’s experience managing large collaborative multidisciplinary projects, such as the Human Microbiome Project, Microbial Sequencing Center, Genome Sequencing Center (GSC), Genomic Centers for Infectious Disease (GCID), Pathogen Functional Genomics Resource Center, and Pathema.
JCVI investigators are working to address AR, HAIs, and C. auris across healthcare settings.
Core research study areas include:
- Using commensal bacteria or their products to decrease AR infections (Norberto Gonzalez-Juarbe, PhD)
- Protecting and restoring nasopharyngeal and gut microbiomes using bacteriophage as interventional agents (Derrick E. Fouts, PhD)
- Decreasing transmission of plasmid-borne AR determinants (Derrick E. Fouts, PhD)
- Identifying host biomarkers and pathogen signatures that determine susceptibility to colonization with an emerging fungal pathogen Candida auris (Sinem Beyhan, PhD)