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CHARM INVESTIGATOR: Victor Nizet, MD

Boosting Innate Immunity


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Current antibiotics are chemicals found to kill microbes in a test tube. Yet serious infections reflect both pathogen virulence and failures in host immunity. We study host-microbe interactions to discover new ways to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including inhibiting their virulence factors, augmenting macrophage and neutrophil microbicidal function, and repurposing FDA-approved drugs from other areas of medicine. Embracing such outside-the-box thinking, some antibiotics thought ineffective by standard laboratory testing are seen to synergize potently with innate immunity to kill leading superbugs.

NIZET LAB WEBSITE

Biographical

Victor Nizet studied Biology at Reed College, received his M.D. at Stanford University School of Medicine, completed a Residency and Chief Residency in Pediatrics at Harvard University and Boston Children's Hosptial, and did a Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Nizet joined the UC San Diego faculty in 1997, where he is now Professor and Vice Chair for Basic Research in the Department of Pediatrics, Professor of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Chief of the Division of Host-Microbe Systems & Therapeutics.

 

Breast Cancer Drug Beats Superbug

The breast cancer drug tamoxifen helped white blood cells clear multidrug-resistant bacteria in lab and mouse studies. The drug enhanced production of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), which ensnared and killed MRSA bacterial.  Tamoxifen treatment in mice also enhanced clearance of the antibiotic-resistant pathogen and reduced mortality.

Read at Nature Communications


CHARM Innovations: Boosting Immunity

Boosting Immunity

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Pathogen Threat: MRSA

Division of Host-Microbe Systems and Therapeutics

Division of Host-Microbe Systems and Therapeutics

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