OU College of Medicine, Dean McGee Eye Institute Researcher Earns $1.8 Million Grant to Study Staphylococcal Eye Infections

Staphylococcus aureus, one of more than 30 types of staphylococcal bacteria, can be devastating to vision when it infects the eye. To better understand how the bacterium begins the infection process, a researcher at the OU College of Medicine and Dean McGee Eye Institute has earned a five-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Eye Institute, a component of the National Institutes of Health.

During her career, Michelle Callegan, PhD, Director of Vision Research at Dean McGee Eye Institute, has investigated various pathogens that cause infections of the eye, including Klebsiella and Bacillus. Her current focus on Staphylococcus aureus brings her full circle — when she was a graduate student, she developed the first-ever research model of staphylococcal keratitis, an infection of the cornea that can threaten vision if not treated promptly.

“Staphylococci live in and on us, and most of the time they don’t cause problems,” Callegan said. “But when Staphylococcus aureus is able to start an infection, it can cause serious complications anywhere in the body, including the eyes. In addition, Staphylococcus aureus is on the Centers for Disease Control’s list of serious threats because of antibiotic resistance.”

Read the full story from The Oklahoman here.


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