UC Santa Barbara scientist receives $3.5M NIH grant to expand his research on sepsis.
It’s the most common cause of death in American hospitals and among the top five killers worldwide, but sepsis remains largely under the radar in conversations about public health — and in promising treatments.
A biomedical scientist at UC Santa Barbara may have a hand in reversing both those trends, thanks to his novel therapeutic approach and a big new grant from the National Institutes of Health.
Jamey Marth, director of UCSB’s Center for Nanomedicine (CNM) and a professor of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, has been awarded $3.5 million from the NIH Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for his continued work to boost survival rates in sepsis.
“This research funding award represents recognition by the NIH and scientific colleagues throughout the nation of the leading research in sepsis going on at CNM focused on understanding and thwarting the pathogenesis of sepsis, a common syndrome that remains one of the most difficult to detect and treat effectively,” said Marth, who is also the Carbon Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Mellichamp Professor of Systems Biology at UCSB. “With this grant, we will be able to more rapidly and more effectively follow up on our earlier discoveries of a completely new approach to the treatment of sepsis that once in the clinic may save millions of lives.”
The new grant supports an ongoing collaboration of UCSB, the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and UC San Diego that is focusing on advancing these discoveries to the point of clinical trials. His team has already shown the method increases, by twofold, sepsis survival rates in models of bacterial infection.
Now, using Cottage’s robust data registry of septic patients, including blood samples from consenting participants, the research will accelerate to further translate the approach for human patients.