Mucosal Models of Infection for Testing Therapeutic Candidates

Marnie Peterson, PharmD, PhD
Extherid Biosciences

Infectious disease is a leading cause of death worldwide, with multi-drug resistant bacteria increasing the burden on patient care. There is a critical need for effective drugs and delivery systems to combat the complications associated with infection, including sepsis, that are common in hospital settings.

Dr. Marnie Peterson and her team are developing ex vivo human tissue models that can measure microbial burden, epithelial toxicity, and biomarker concentration to test the safety and efficacy of therapeutics to prevent or treat infections. The development of these model systems enhances the translational potential of basic research on disease mechanisms and optimizes the pathway of new drug targets to clinical trials. As an example, Dr. Peterson and her team have developed new technologies for treating multi-drug resistant bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, that can be used in wound dressings. Dr. Peterson founded Jackson, Wyoming based Extherid Biosciences, a CRO, to offer this expertise to the research community by creating customizable human tissue models that can be used for a range of biological R&D services focused on wound healing and infectious disease.

This work is an excellent example of how human tissue is essential to advance basic science into clinical applications.