Keck School Faculty

Brian Michael Luna, PhD
Brian Michael Luna, PhD
Assistant Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
NTT 6427A 1441 Eastlake Avenue Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
In the United States there has been a rapid increase in the disease burden caused by antibiotic resistant members of the ESKAPE pathogens: Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter species. More than 2,000,000 illnesses and 23,000 deaths were attributed to antibiotic resistant infections in the US in 2013, with an added $20 billion dollar cost to the healthcare system. Continued research is needed to understand antibiotic tolerance mechanisms for the purpose of developing the next generation of therapeutics that can subvert these mechanisms.

I am interested in the study of antibiotic tolerance mechanisms by bacterial pathogens; including both antibiotic resistance and antibiotic persister cell formation. Better understanding of antibiotic tolerance mechanisms will guide improved therapeutic strategies for combating these infections. We use multiple research strategies including synthetic biology, microbial genetics, next-generation sequencing, and preclinical mouse models in our work.
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