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Superbug research earns UTHealth student prestigious UNCF/Merck fellowship
Date:8/2/2011

221.10.254.64

Charles Darkoh, a graduate student at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), has been awarded a fellowship from the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and Merck for his research into a major health problem multidrug-resistant Clostridium difficile bacterial infection.

Darkoh was one of 12 graduate students receiving fellowships this year through the UNCF/Merck Science Initiative. Darkoh was awarded a graduate science research dissertation fellowship worth up to $53,500.

Darkoh is enrolled at The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston, which trains research scientists and scientist-educators, as well as generates new knowledge in the biomedical sciences. The school is overseen by UTHealth and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

"These research pioneers will make discoveries that serve as a lifeline of answers for people who face challenges such as pancreatic cancer, Alzheimer's, and diabetes today-similar to diseases like polio and smallpox that are no longer the threat to life they once were because of major scientific breakthroughs," said George Stancel, Ph.D., dean of the graduate school, executive vice president for academic and research affairs at UTHealth and holder of the John P. McGovern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Endowed Distinguished Professorship. "I like to refer to these young men and women on the path to their biomedical degrees as the 'knowledge generators' of the future."

For years, doctors have prescribed diverse antibiotics to treat various bacterial infections. Overuse of antibiotics has resulted in some of these bacteria developing resistance to the drugs designed to kill them. C. difficile is one such bacterium. Superbugs are bacteria that are resistant to multiple antibiotics.

Within the last decade, the number of cases of C. difficile infection (CDI) in the Un
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Contact: Robert Cahill
Robert.Cahill@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-3030
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Source:Eurekalert  

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