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LIU Post Research on Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia Featured in Microbiology Journal

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Michael Schiavetta,Director of Editorial Services
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LuyMartinezBrookville, N.Y. — Dr. Luis Martinez, assistant professor of biomedical sciences at LIU Post's School of Health Professions and Nursing, and his team of students as well as collaborators from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, will be featured on the cover of Microbiology's December issue for their research on hospital-acquired pneumonia.

According to Dr. Martinez, “Acinetobacter baumannii (Ab) is a frequent cause of hospital-acquired pneumonia. Treatment is limited since Ab strains isolated from patients are extremely resistant to current antimicrobials.” He added, “This microbe can survive desiccation and during outbreaks has been recovered from various sites in the patients' environments, including medical instruments and surfaces. Ab naturally form biofilms (community of microorganisms) on hospital surfaces.”

LIU Post biomedical science alumni Samantha J. Orsinger-Jacobsen and Shenan Patel developed a simple and innovative stainless steel washer platform to study how biofilms formed by Ab survive in hospital-settings and cause disease in individuals already sick with other conditions.

Currently, Suvarna Krishnamoorthy, a graduate student in LIU Post’s Clinical Laboratory Science program, is screening disinfectants that might be successfully utilized to eradicate Ab in the clinical environment.

“The main purpose of this research project is to generate antimicrobials that might be translated from the laboratory to the bedside to prevent infections caused by this deadly microbe,” said Dr. Martinez. “This type of project also allows me to mentor and prepare students to get positions in the public and private sector. An example of this is that my students get the required tools and skills to become good candidates to be hired by the top companies in the U.S., including Genentech, Baxter, Pfizer, and Argonne National labs, to mention a few.”

According to Dr. MaryAnn Clark, professor and dean in LIU Post's School of Health Professions and Nursing, “Dr. Martinez has not only proven himself as an excellent teacher and mentor to our students but he has been entrusted with research that addresses a timely and serious public health issue.” She added, “His findings will have a positive impact on the health and well-being of all individuals.”

Posted 11/27/2013

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