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Rendell Administration Announces Health Research Grants From Tobacco Settlement Funds
Date:2/20/2009

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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) ranks among the most prevalent causes of infections in hospitals. It is easily transmitted within the hospital and is now found in the community. Acinetobacter baumannii (A. baumannii) and Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), other bacteria that have developed drug resistance, also cause life-threatening infections and are prevalent in U.S. hospitals. Research aids in better understanding the transmission of these deadly bacteria and developing improved strategies to prevent and control the spread in hospital and community settings.

Research is also needed to address ASD, which have reached unprecedented levels, affecting 1 in 150 children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ASD include autism and related pervasive developmental disorders such as Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome and childhood disintegrative disorder. Currently, there is no cure for the disorders, and treatments are limited. Studies that investigate genetic factors, brain function and structure are needed to improve our understanding of how the minds of autistic children work.

The four grants that are being awarded under these two priorities during state fiscal year 2008-2009 include:

  • The University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Lincoln University, and the Pennsylvania State University, will receive $5.5 million to study why patients with MRSA infections frequently experience recurrent infections despite appropriate treatment. Researchers also will determine how often MRSA spreads among household members and the factors contributing to the spread of MRSA within the household. An intervention to prevent new and recurring MRSA infections will be tested.
  • The University of Pittsburgh, in partnership wi
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health
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