The Pennsylvania Department of Health granted the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine a 4-year, $4.7 million grant to find new ways to stop deadly hospital-acquired infections that are often resistant to treatment. The grant is funded by Pennsylvania’s share of the national 2008-2009 tobacco settlement. Research will focus on C. difficile, A. baumannii. and MRSA. The project will assess medical and economic impacts of new strategies to prevent and control hospital-acquired infections.

“Infections that are resistant to antibiotics are becoming increasingly problematic not only in the United States, but around the world,” says principal investigator of the grant Lee Harrison, MD, in a press release from the University of Pittsburgh. “We not only need to develop new drugs, but also to improve infection surveillance and focus on targeted interventions.”

Investigators plan to establish a Center of Excellence in Prevention and Control of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacterial Infections at the University of Pittsburgh, which will include partnerships with several UPMC hospitals, Carnegie Mellon University, and Kane Regional Centers of Allegheny County.