Drs. Levine and Shiloh to lead NIH-funded program

Amid growing concern about pathogens becoming more drug-resistant worldwide – and emerging new pathogens that have no current treatment – UT Southwestern has been selected to lead a five-year investigation into a promising new approach for controlling infections funded by a grant of up to $37 million.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded program will be headed by Dr. Beth Levine, Director of UT Southwestern’s Center for Autophagy Research and a Professor of Internal Medicine and Microbiology. She will serve as Program Director over five separate research projects at UT Southwestern and across the country – all focused on the potential to exploit a cellular process known as autophagy to destroy invading bacteria and viruses.

“During autophagy, the target to be destroyed is encased in a double-membrane compartment inside the cell called an autophagosome, which then merges with other compartments containing enzymes and acids to degrade the target,” said Dr. Michael Shiloh, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Microbiology, who will assist Dr. Levine as the program’s Associate Director.