U-M faculty team up to accelerate the response to biothreats
A team of researchers from across the University of Michigan is setting out to streamline the process for developing the next generation of antimicrobials. Their goal is to more efficiently identify promising nanoparticles that could curb drug-resistant bacteria, lower research and development costs, and reduce the time it takes to get potential new medicines from the lab to the market.
“The project represents the type of cross-disciplinary, collaborative innovation that will be necessary to create an efficient, lower-cost approach to developing new medicines that can be effective against emerging antibiotic-resistant pathogens,” says LSI Research Professor David Sherman, one of the six U-M professors working on the project.
The project is one of four inaugural award recipients for the U-M College of Engineering’s Blue Sky Initiative, which was introduced in late 2017 to enhance a research culture of creativity, innovation and daring. The initiative supports the development of high-risk, high-reward ideas by giving cross-disciplinary teams the resources to aggressively pursue a project that will either reinforce or define Michigan’s leadership position in a wide range of areas. The College of Engineering will invest up to $2.5 million in each of the Blue Sky projects over approximately three years.
The collaborative research team spans the U-M LSI, Medical School, College of Engineering, College of Pharmacy, and College of Literature, Science, and the Arts:
- Angela Violi (principal investigator) — Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Professor of Macromolecular Science and Engineering, and Professor of Biophysics, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
- Nicholas Kotov — Joseph B and Florence V Cejka Professor of Engineering, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Professor of Macromolecular Science and Engineering
- Thomas Schmidt — Professor of Internal Medicine, Professor of Microbiology, and Immunology, Medical School; and Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
- Alfred Hero — John H Holland Distinguished University Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, R Jamison and Betty Williams Professor of Engineering, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering and Medical School; Professor of Statistics, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; and Co-Director, Data Science Initiative
- Scott VanEpps — Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, Macromolecular Science and Engineering, Biointerfaces Institute, and Michigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care
- Paolo Elvati — Assistant Research Scientist, Mechanical Engineering
- David Sherman — Hans W Vahlteich Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy; Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical School; Professor of Chemistry, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; and Research Professor, Life Sciences Institute
Read the full announcement from Michigan Engineering.