Wright Lab Grant Funding

Funding Agency: NIH/NIAID
Grant Number: 1R21 AI144769-01A1
Project Dates: 01/2020 to 12/2021
The rise of antimicrobial resistance has left clinicians with few options for the successful treatment of many microbial pathogens, which has resulted in an increasing reliance on antibiotics of last resort. In isolated cases, pathogens have acquired resistance to an antibiotic of last resort yet have not managed to spread among patients. This project investigates the genetic basis for why one such resistant pathogen, vancomycin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA), has never spread between patients, with the goal of developing a better understanding of the barriers that can prevent epidemics of antimicrobial resistance from emerging.

Funding Agency: NIH/NIAID
Grant Number: 1DP2 AI145058-01
Project Dates: 09/2018 to 06/2023
The rapid evolution and spread of antimicrobial resistance among microbial pathogens has dire consequences for human health. To develop strategies for mitigating the rise of resistance, we will use comparative genomics to study the evolution of antibiotics in naturally antibiotic-producing microorganisms. Our work has many expected positive outcomes, including: 1) discovering new antibiotics for drug development, and 2) revealing strategies for combating the rise of resistance.

Funding Agency: EMSL (PNNL)
Grant Number: 50808
Project Dates: 10/2019 to 12/2021
The soil microbiome is composed of a dense network of interacting cells that play a pivotal role in nutrient cycling and plant growth. Decrypting how soil microorganisms communicate through a wide variety of small molecules is essential for understanding their functional roles and ecological dynamics. We have previously developed and characterized a 3D printed platform for eavesdropping on interactions between pairs of bacteria. Using advanced mass spectrometry resources at EMSL, we can apply this platform in high-throughput to infer the context-specific language of microbial communication for a large panel of soil bacteria. In particular, we seek to tease apart individual contributions to the immense signaling network within the soil microbiome. This will enable us to elucidate higher-order principles of inter-cellular communication, with the ultimate goals of manipulating the soil microbiome to improve nutrient management, identifying novel strategies in microbial competition, and controlling plant-microbe interactions in the rhizosphere. Importantly, this project will serve as a basis for future proposals to EMSL and the DOE.