Mehla received a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases within the National Institutes of Health to study small molecule-based inhibition of multidrug efflux pump of P. aeruginosa. The proposed study would contribute to the development of antibacterials effective against multidrug resistant Gram-negative pathogens including P. aeruginosa.
“Although antibiotic resistance is a slow-growing pandemic, a report estimates it could cause nearly 300 million premature deaths by 2050,” Mehla said. “In 2017, multidrug-resistant P. aeruginosa alone caused an estimated 32,600 infections that lead to 2,700 estimated deaths in the United States, with an attributed health care cost of $767 million as per a 2019 CDC report.”
Mehla’s study, conducted in collaboration with Helen Zgurskaya, a George Lynn Cross Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at OU, and Dr. John Walker at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, will explore promising new strategies to combat multidrug resistance.