Blue light to be studied as MRSA therapy

July 25, 2012

Scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin received a one-year, $20,000 grant from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin (CTSI) to study the use of blue light as a possible therapy for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infection in humans.

The primary investigator of the study is Violet Bumah, Ph.D., researcher in the kinesiology department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Co-primary investigators are Chukuka Enwemeka, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Health Sciences and professor of kinesiology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; and Harry Whelan, M.D., professor of neurology, pediatrics, and hyperbaric medicine at MCW, neurologist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and researcher at Children’s Research Institute. Emerging evidence suggests that certain wavelengths of blue light kill MRSA. The goals of this study are to optimize the bacteria-killing effect of blue light on MRSA either with or without hyperbaric oxygen, and to determine a therapeutic protocol for human MRSA cases.

This is one of 19 pilot projects being funded in 2012 through CTSI. The goal is to create synergy through collaboration, and studies are specifically designed to lead to major future research support. The projects explore findings that have the potential to be translated into clinical practice and community health, and are led by investigators at the CTSI’s eight partnering institutions: the Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, UW-Milwaukee, Froedtert Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the VA Medical Center, and the BloodCenter of Wisconsin.

CTSI is part of a national consortium of top medical research institutions. Working together, the CTSI institutions are committed to improve human health by streamlining science, transforming training environments and improving the conduct, quality and dissemination of clinical and translational research. The CTSI program is led by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Support for the Pilot Award Program comes from the National Institutes of Health and the John and Jeanne Byrnes CTSI Award, and the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin program, and its Biotechnology and Bioengineering Center.
 

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