Professor Launches Research Initiative to Encourage Students to Develop and Test Antibiotics for CF Infections

Joana Carvalho, PhD avatar

by Joana Carvalho, PhD |

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CF and COVID-19

Kristen Mudrack, PhD, a chemistry professor at Milligan College in Tennessee, has launched a research initiative to encourage college students to produce and test antibiotics that target and destroy Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacteria highly resistant to antibiotics that often causes lung infections in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF).

She will discuss the project and her approach to mentored research in a presentation titled “From the Classroom to the Bench to Beyond,” which will take place at 6 p.m. Sept. 30 at the college’s upcoming Faculty Lecture Series. The lecture is free and open to the general public.

For the research project, Mudrack has integrated Milligan into an intercollegiate database on research aimed at improving antibiotics for CF infections.

Milligan’s chemistry and biology students now have the opportunity to dedicate themselves to research that is meant to help other scientists working on the development of antibiotics to treat bacterial infections in CF patients.

“When I was an undergraduate student, I had the opportunity to do research, and it opened a whole new world of science to me,” Mudrack said in a press release. “Rather than reading a textbook in class or testing lab projects that hundreds of people had already tested, I was doing something new, and the outcomes were unknown.”

Her main goal with this initiative, she says, is to allow her students to have the same eye-opening experiences about research by participating in projects that have the potential to change the lives of people living with CF.

Mudrack’s initiative fits within the college’s philosophy of encouraging undergraduate students to get involved in meaningful research projects so they may be better prepared to face real-life problems with unknown solutions after they graduate.

“Our students’ research not only applies the things they are learning in the classroom to a real world problem, but what they discover affects a population of people who suffer from CF,” Mudrack said.

“This research has a practical application for our students who are interested in medicine and biochemical research. The opportunity to be involved in innovative research isn’t offered everywhere, and I’m grateful to be able to work alongside students as they make a difference and work toward their career goals,” she concluded.