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January 16, 2013

Chandan SenCOLUMBUS, Ohio – Researchers from The Ohio State University College of Medicine have received a five-year, $2.1 million award from the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health to study resistant wound infections, which affect 17 million people annually and responsible for claiming the lives of 550,000 people due to complications from the devastating disease.

After skin tissue is burned, antibiotic-resistant bacteria cause biofilms to form over the wound. Utilizing the expertise of a multi-disciplinary team, including faculty from Ohio State College of Medicine’s Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Department of Surgery, Comprehensive Wound Center and Comprehensive Burn Center, scientists will use molecular and genomic approaches to define how biofilm-growing bacteria resist treatment and host immune cells.

“This research endeavor helps us assemble the right team to tackle a substantial health problem. Infection is a significant challenge in wound care, particularly for those patients with major burn injuries. Biofilms, which are dense communities of bacteria commonly adherent to a surface or each other, are now recognized as a significant contributor to these infections,” says Dr. Chandan Sen, professor and vice chair for research in Ohio State's Department of Surgery.

According to Sen, also co-principal investigator of the study along with Daniel Wozniak, two of the most commonly identified biofilm pathogens isolated from chronic wounds – P. aeruginosa and S. aureus – predominate and researching their pathogenesis, resistance properties and immune interactions will provide valuable knowledge for the eventual treatment of chronic wounds.

The focus of the study will be the interaction of the immune system and biofilms, from which a chronic wound model of infection that mimics human disease will be developed. Researchers will test their hypothesis that biofilm-related infections delay healing in human wound infections. The findings will be integral to the development of novel therapeutics to combat biofilm infections.


Contact: Sherri Kirk, College of Medicine Public Relations, 614.366.3277, or