2023 SAEMF/RAMS Resident Research Grant - $5,000

"CRISPR-based, Rapid Bedside Bacteremia Detection for ED Sepsis Management"

When ill-appearing patients present to the emergency department, we often start antibiotics for presumed bacterial infection. Studies have shown that as many as a third of these patients may actually not have an underlying bacterial infection, meaning that our initial therapy could be misguided and potentially harmful. In this study, we aim to improve the speed of bacteria detection from the current standard of 24 hours to less than 1 hour so that we can safely avoid antibiotics administration in select patients.


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    Hirotaka Ata, MD, PhD

    Duke University

    "CRISPR-based, Rapid Bedside Bacteremia Detection for ED Sepsis Management"

    Dr. Ata is a second year emergency medicine resident at Duke University. Prior to joining Duke, he completed MD and PhD training at Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, with a focus on improving predictability and reliability of genome editing outcomes in vertebrates using tools such as CRISPR-Cas9. His work has led to a better understanding of local triggers for robustly activating an understudied DNA repair pathway, MMEJ (microhomology-mediated end joining), resulting in targeted induction of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) sequence changes, precise down to the single nucleotide level. As an emergency medicine resident, Dr. Ata is interested in developing molecular diagnostic tools for emergency department-relevant pathologies, starting with bedside detection of bacteremia using CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) to better inform antibiotic stewardship.