LSU Vet School Professor Receives Research Competitiveness (RCS) Grant

Yogesh Saini, DVM, MS, PhD, assistant professor in Comparative Biomedical Sciences at Louisiana State University

Yogesh Saini, DVM, MS, PhD, assistant professor in Comparative Biomedical Sciences, recently received Research Competitiveness (RCS) grant for investigating a potential to enhance host’s ability to clear recurrent and antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections from lungs. Dr. Saini’s grant proposal was ranked 1st (tied with 14 other proposals) in a total of 151 proposal that were submitted statewide in year 2017. This $147,000 grant period is for three years, beginning in August 2018.

Acute exacerbation of pulmonary symptoms due to bacterial infections is a major contributing factor to hospitalization and death in muco-obstructive patients. The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains poses serious challenges for clinical management of bacterial infections. The proposed research sought to test whether enhanced bacterial killing abilities of phagocytes is effective against recurrent and antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.

The study will employ a unique model that recapitulates human cystic fibrosis disease in mice. Researchers have introduced several genetic alterations in these mice that will allow them to precisely pin-point roles of specific proteins in bacterial clearance.

Dr. Saini envisions development of a “magic bullet” therapeutic strategy where a key cell-type is targeted directly with a specific pharmaceutical preparation.