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KU Scientist Awarded Prestigious Fellowship for Work on Antibiotic Resistance

Gateway entrance to the University of Kansas in Lawrence (Photo by J. Schafer)
Gateway entrance to the University of Kansas in Lawrence (Photo by J. Schafer)

A scientist at the University of Kansas has been awarded a prestigious fellowship for her work on antibiotic resistance. Heartland Health Monitor’s Dan Margolies reports.

Dan Margolies is a reporter for Heartland Health Monitor and a contributor to Kansas Public Radio.

Joanna Slusky, 37, is among the first five recipients of an $825,000 award from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in Palo Alto, California.  Slusky was recognized for her development of a so-called helper protein that disables a bacterium’s ability to protect itself from attack by antibiotics.  “What I wanted to do was make helper molecules -- in this case, helper proteins, that would make the antibiotics that we already have keep working," Slusky said.  "In order to do that, what one needs to do is disable the resistance mechanism of the bacteria.”  Slusky hopes to use the money that comes with the fellowship to begin pre-clinical trials in three to five years.  For Heartland Health Monitor, I’m Dan Margolies.