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NIH Awards $420,000 to ACRI, UAMS Researcher to Study Chlamydia, Potentially Inform Therapies & Vaccine Development

09.12.2019

 

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Hilary DeMillo 
Arkansas Children’s 
demillohh@archildrens.org  
(501) 364-6445
 

LITTLE ROCK, AR. (Sept. 13, 2019) – Research to better understand chlamydia, potentially informing the development of a vaccine for the infection, is underway at Arkansas Children’s Research Institute (ACRI) and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) after the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded the project $420,000.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of NIH, is funding the work of Laxmi Yeruva, PhD, an investigator at ACRI and an associate professor of Pediatrics in the UAMS College of Medicine. She and her team will use the two-year award to examine interactions between chlamydia and proteins released by cells during infection.

They believe building a better understanding of how these proteins affect inflammation and tissue damage during infection can lead to novel therapies, possibly even helping vaccine development.

Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection in the world and is especially prevalent among adolescents and young adults. A major consequence of infection is persistent inflammation and evolving damage to the reproductive organs, which in women can result in severe pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility.

“This study has tremendous potential to impact how we understand chlamydia’s effects at the cellular level,” Yeruva said. “Our ultimate goal is to offer context that could lead to therapeutic avenues and development of a vaccine to prevent this infection and its devastation.”

 

Dr. Yeruva’s research has been supported, in part, by funds from the Arkansas Biosciences Institute, the major research component of the Tobacco Settlement Proceeds Act of 2000.

ABOUT ARKANSAS CHILDREN’S
Arkansas Children's, Inc. is the only healthcare system in the state solely dedicated to caring for Arkansas' 710,000 children, giving the organization a unique ability to shape the landscape of pediatric care in Arkansas and transform the health of children throughout the region. The private, non-profit organization includes two pediatric hospitals, a pediatric research institute and USDA nutrition center, a philanthropic foundation, a nursery alliance, statewide clinics, and many education and outreach programs. Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) is a 336-bed, Magnet-recognized facility in Little Rock operating the state’s only Level I pediatric trauma center; the state's only burn center; the state's only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit; the state's only pediatric intensive care unit; the state’s only pediatric surgery program with Level 1 verification from the American College of Surgeons (ACS); and the state's only nationally recognized pediatric transport program. Additionally, ACH is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in five pediatric subspecialties (2019-2020): Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Nephrology, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics and Pulmonology. ACH is one of only five hospitals in the nation that have achieved Magnet Status, ACS Level 1 verification and a Beacon award from the American Association of Critical- Care Nurses. Arkansas Children’s Northwest (ACNW), the first and only pediatric hospital in the Northwest Arkansas region, opened in Springdale in early 2018. ACNW operates a 24-bed inpatient unit; a surgical unit with five operating rooms; outpatient clinics offering over 20 subspecialties; diagnostic services; imaging capabilities; occupational therapy services; and Northwest Arkansas' only pediatric emergency department, equipped with 30 exam rooms. Generous philanthropic and volunteer engagement has sustained Arkansas Children's since it began as an orphanage in 1912, and today ensures the system can fundamentally transform the health of children in Arkansas and beyond. To learn more, visit archildrens.org.

ACRI is a free-standing state-of-the-art pediatric research center which provides a research environment on the ACH campus to foster research and scholarship of faculty members of University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences who are investigating questions relative to development, disease and treatment as it relates to the health of infants, children and adolescents. Physician and biomedical scientist investigators at ACRI and the Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center (ACNC) conduct clinical, basic science, and health services research for the purpose of treating illnesses and preventing disease and thereby, improving the health of the children of Arkansas and beyond.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report named UAMS Medical Center the state’s Best Hospital; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide; and named six areas as high performing — cancer, colon cancer surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung cancer surgery. UAMS has 2,727 students, 870 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on FacebookTwitterYouTube or Instagram
 

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