Project 2, which will be co-directed by Drs. Bavoil and Garry Myers, PhD, Associate Professor at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, aims to identify antibody and miRNA-based biomarkers of chlamydia infection, chlamydia/gonorrhea co-infection and pelvic inflammatory disease with a specific focus on the translational potential of these biomarkers in clinical and public health.
Project 3, which will be directed by Dr. Ravel, will employ a systems biology approach to identify biomarkers of the vaginal and penile microbiomes, the genetic variation of the host and pathogens that are associated with increased or decreased risks of infection by chlamydia, gonorrhea or both.
These projects will rely on a strong clinical core, which will establish a STI Network Groups (STING), consisting of multiple networks of sexual partners where at least one of the partners is infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea. The clinical core of the center will involve Drs. Katrina Mark, MD, of the UM SOM Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, and Rebecca Brotman, Assistant Professor of UM SOM Department of Epidemiology & Public Health and IGS. Participants in STING will provide clinical specimens, that researchers at the University of Maryland and partner institutions will examine and analyze using cutting-edge genomic, immunologic and genetic techniques, trying to identify novel molecular biomarkers that could help them predict who is at risk for STIs and who is less likely to become infected, based on the subject's own genetics, his/her genital microbiome composition and function, as well as the pathogen's unique genome. The scientists hope to use identified biomarkers to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for STIs. The projects will be supported
|Contact: Christopher Hardwick|
University of Maryland School of Medicine