Dr. Spellberg has extensive administrative, patient care, and teaching activities. His NIH-funded research interests are diverse, ranging from basic immunology and vaccinology, to pure clinical and outcomes research, to process improvement work related to delivery of care, focusing on safety net hospitals. His laboratory research has focused on developing a vaccine that targets the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus and the fungus Candida; the vaccine is undergoing clinical development. Dr. Spellberg is currently working on the immunology, vaccinology, and host defense against highly resistant Gram negative bacilli, including Acinetobacter and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae infections.
Dr. Spellberg has worked extensively with the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) to attempt to bring attention to the problems of increasing drug resistance and decreasing new antibiotics. His research regarding new drug development was a cornerstone of the IDSA’s white paper, Bad Bugs, No Drugs, and has been cited extensively in medical literature and on Capitol Hill. He first-authored numerous societal position papers and review articles relating to public policy of antibiotic resistance and antibiotic development. Dr. Spellberg is the author of Rising Plague, which he wrote to inform and educate the public about the crisis in antibiotic resistant infections and lack of antibiotic development. He has appeared on TV programs including Dr. Oz, The Doctors, Katie Couric, and has given numerous radio and news interviews.
Outside of medicine, he enjoys intergalactic hyperspace travel, dinosaur cloning, and going after bad guys while dressed up in a Kevlar suit with a cool utility belt. He has also been known to split an atom or two from time to time when bored. Sometimes, he reads non-medical textbooks and lifts weights.
LA BioMed Research Institute: Richard E. Weitzman Memorial Prize for Meritorious Research, 2013
Department of Medicine, UCLA: Kouichi R. Tanaka Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award, 2011
Choice Magazine: Outstanding Academic Title Award for Rising Plague, 2010
LA Biomedical Research Institute : Liu Young Investigator's Award, 2007
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center: Subspecialty Fellow of the Year, 2004
UCLA Department of Medicine: Faculty Award for Outstanding Junior Medicine Clerk, 1999
UCLA School of Medicine: Stafford Warren Award, 1999
American College of Physicians: Outstanding Student in Internal Medicine at UCLA, 1999
UCLA Alpha Omega Alpha: Chapter Co-President, 1998-1999
Alpha Omega Alpha: Elected Member, 1998
UCLA School of Medicine: First STAR Summer Fellowship Award, 1996
University of California, Berkeley: Summa Cum Laude, 1994
Phi Beta Kappa: Elected Member, 1994
Phi Beta Kappa: Ooops. Something went wrong., 1994
University of California, Berkeley: Dean's List, 1991-1994