Travis Wiles, Ph.D., assistant professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, has recently received a New Innovator Award (#DP2AI154420) from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The NIAID is an agency of the National Institutes of Health and supports research efforts to help understand, prevent and ultimately cure infectious and allergic diseases. The agency’s New Innovator Awards are given to investigators to “support creative, novel, original and insightful research concepts” that are important to the institute’s mission.
Professor Wiles is a microbiologist whose research explores the connections between animals and the microbial world. The New Innovator Award will help support his efforts to discover new strategies for combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. More specifically, the project will investigate how the spatial and temporal organization of gut bacterial communities affects the evolution and transmission of resistance traits within and between microbiomes.
“We are grateful for the support of the NIAID, and we are extremely excited to be pursuing this area of research in the collaborative and multidisciplinary environment at UCI,” said Professor Wiles. “Antibiotic resistance is an urgent and challenging problem in need of new solutions. With this award, we are pushing ourselves to define the mechanisms that shape the ecology and evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and identify potential strategies for manipulating these mechanisms to stop the emergence and spread of resistance.”