NMSU professor gets grant for antibiotic-resistance research

January 22, 2020 GMT

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A researcher at New Mexico State University has been awarded $1.5 million from the National Institutes of Health for her work on antibiotic resistance.

The university announced Tuesday that professor Paola Mera will use the five-year grant for equipment and manpower that will be aimed at identifying new targets that can help others design new antibiotics so the growth of resistant bacteria can be controlled.

Bacteria can grow from one cell to billions in less than a day, so Mera’s approach is to find out how bacteria maintain their genetic information intact after every cell division while growing so fast.

The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say antibiotic resistance is one of today’s biggest health challenges. The CDC reports more than 2 million people in the U.S. get an antibiotic-resistant infection each year and about 23,000 die.