Navigation Links
UT Arlington undergrad honored for research on antibiotic resistant infection
Date:3/7/2014

University of Texas at Arlington student Emmanuel Fordjour was a sophomore when he sought out Julian Hurdle, an assistant professor of biology, and asked if he could help research ways to fight a dangerous, hospital-acquired disease called Clostridium difficile infection or CDI.

Just two years later, Fordjour's work with Hurdle has put him in an elite class named a winner of the Washington D.C.-based Council on Undergraduate Research's 2014 Posters on the Hill competition. Fordjour is one of just 60 undergraduate scholars from across the United States selected from a field of 600 applicants. In April, the winners will present their research to members of Congress, Congressional staffers and staff from government agencies.

Fordjour, a double major in biology and microbiology who plans to graduate in 2015, said the achievement represents another of the "mind-blowing" opportunities he has had since choosing to attend UT Arlington.

"My entire undergraduate career changed after I got into research," said Fordjour, who moved to Irving from the United Kingdom after high school. "So many doors have opened up to me, chances that I never thought I would get."

Hurdle said the prestigious award reflects the dedicated work of Fordjour and his research partner Kieu Doan, another undergraduate in the chemistry/biochemistry department.

"Emmanuel is a very promising scientific talent, exemplifying the high quality of students in the College of Science and undergraduate research participation in the Department of Biology," Hurdle said. "This honor will provide him the opportunity to shine light on a disease that is hard to treat, frustrating to clinicians, causes much death and is now deemed an urgent public health threat by CDC. "

Clostridium difficile, an intestinal bacterium also known as C. difficile, causes severe diarrhea and is responsible for at least 250,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Elderly and hospitalized patients are especially susceptible. Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named C. difficile one of the three most "urgent drug resistant health threats."

Fordjour saw firsthand the toll that C. difficile could take while volunteering at Baylor Medical Center at Irving. "C. difficile just stood out to me because it's a formidable pathogen. You get sick and you think you're done with it, and it comes back," said Fordjour, who has volunteered 600 hours in the hospital's emergency room.

In a project overseen by Hurdle, Fordjour and Doan tested combinations of current and in development antibiotics against clinically relevant C. difficile strains isolated from patients. He found evidence that combining a currently used antibiotic called rifaximin and an antibiotic called fusidic acid that is still in clinical trials in the U.S. was particularly effective against different strains of C. difficile in lab tests, gaining better results than either drug alone more than half the time.

This combination could also reduce the risk of C. difficile developing resistance to either drug during therapy, he said. The next step will be submitting those results for publication.

"Rifaximin which is used to treat traveler's diarrhea is currently in clinical trials as a treatment for patients who experience multiple episodes of treatment failures for CDI. The problem is that resistance can arise to rifaximin during treatment. We hope the combinations showing improve efficacy over rifaximin alone, could provide a better treatment outcome," Hurdle said.

In addition to Fordjour's work with Hurdle, he is a member of the UT Arlington Honors College and a recipient of the UT System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, or LSAMP, grant and a scholar in the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program. After graduation, he hopes to complete a combined M.D./Ph.D. program and become a physician, educator and researcher.

Ashley Purgason, assistant dean for undergraduate research and student advancement in the College of Science, said Fordjour's success brings prestige to UT Arlington and efforts to increase undergraduate research opportunities. Administrators hope to see more students seek out extracurricular experience in faculty laboratories.

"We try to give our students the best education we can in lecture halls and in our laboratory courses, but what really ignites a lifelong love of science is when our students can go further and get the thrill of inquiry-based experiments and the original thought that goes with that," Purgason said.


'/>"/>
Contact: Traci Peterson
tpeterso@uta.edu
817-521-5494
University of Texas at Arlington
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. UT Arlington study links BPA and breast cancer tumor growth
2. UT Arlington bioengineer to create new nanoparticle system to shore up arterial walls
3. UT Arlington research may unlock enzymes role in disease
4. UT Arlingtons Nguyen named American Heart Association fellow
5. NSF awards to UT Arlington researchers will fuel sustainable solutions
6. 9 UT Arlington educators honored for teaching excellence
7. UT Arlington engineer to design prototype that predicts flash flooding
8. UT Arlington research to benefit quality, flow in 150-mile Integrated Pipeline
9. UT Arlington engineer to search for bad algal blooms
10. UT Arlington bioengineer to use hybrid imaging system to see deep tissue
11. UT Arlington engineer wins NSF award to support microfluidic analyses of tissue, cell samples
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
UT Arlington undergrad honored for research on antibiotic resistant infection
(Date:11/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... 2021" report to their offering. ... ... by 2021 from USD 6.21 Billion in 2016, growing at a ... of the bioinformatics market is driven by the growing demand for ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced the ... report to their offering. The ... to grow at a CAGR of 12.28% during the period ... an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report ... years. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 On Monday, the ... to industry to share solutions for the Biometric Exit ... Customs and Border Protection (CBP), explains that CBP intends ... departing the United States , in ... to defeat imposters. Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382209LOGO ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... a new moving magnet Voice Coil Actuator with a flexure design that ensures ... long life with cost-effective pricing and is ideally suited where extreme precision is ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... 2016  The Allen Institute for Cell Science ... publicly available collection of gene edited, fluorescently tagged ... cellular structures with unprecedented clarity. Distributed through the ... are a crucial first step toward visualizing the ... makes human cells healthy and what goes wrong ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... 2016 Part of 5m$ Investment in ... ... Aptuit, LLC today announced that it had successfully completed the ... compounds have increased the Screening Collection to over 400,000. The ... capabilities of the company. This expansion, complemented by new robotics ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... On 28 November 2016, the International Union of ... nihonium (Nh), moscovium (Mc), tennessine (Ts), and oganesson (Og), respectively for element 113, 115, ... proposed by the discoverers have been approved by the IUPAC Bureau. The IUPAC Council ...
Breaking Biology Technology: