Post-doc Razie Kebriaei earns ACCP Foundation Futures Grant

Post-doctoral fellow Razie Kebriaei received an American College of Clinical Pharmacy Foundation (ACCP) Foundation Futures Grant of $30,000 to pursue her project, “A Novel Approach for Combating Medical Device Associated Biofilm Infections of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).” Kebriaei is working in the Anti-Infective Research Lab (ARL) under the mentorship of Professor of Pharmacy Practice Michael Rybak and in collaboration with the laboratory of Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences Arun Iyer.

Kebriaei's innovative study will provide information on both a liposomal and commercial form of vancomycin. She will formally receive the award at the Annual ACCP Meeting in New York City in October.

Project impact

Lack of antimicrobial penetration into bacterial biofilm matrices, differences in metabolic activity of bacterial cells between the different biofilm layers, and the development of drug resistance in biofilm-embedded cells are thought to play a significant role in reduced antimicrobial response and subsequent treatment failure. The most common approach to overcoming biofilm-mediated nonsusceptibility is combination therapy.

Kebriaei's proposal aims to determine the specific vancomycin exposure needed to overcome MRSA embedded in biofilm settings as well as the impact of adjunctive agents on resistance prevention. These findings will be among the first to help better understand the optimal vancomycin and liposomal vancomycin pharmacokinetic targeted concentrations, offering clinicians the opportunity to improve treatment of medical device infections secondary to MRSA ultimately leading to reduced patient morbidity, mortality and health care treatment costs.

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