Nicole Byers, PhD
Research Awards Nationwide Recipient (2014-2016)
Indiana University (Indianapolis)
Learning Role of Tumor Suppressor in MRSA Infection Could Lead to Treatment
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) pneumonia, which is resistant to the antibiotic methicillin, results in high death rates, despite early treatment with appropriate antibiotics. Uncontrolled MRSA infection causes a deadly overwhelming response by a person's immune system. We recently identified a novel anti-inflammatory function of a protein expressed in many cells, named PTEN. This protein may dampen uncontrolled inflammation in MRSA infection. The goal of this project is to understand the mechanisms used by PTEN to inhibit overactive immune responses. The findings can help scientists develop new therapies to treat MRSA, and could have a broad impact on diseases associated with lung inflammation.