Paul B. Savage, PI, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Evaluation of how well the academic objectives of the proposal were met
The primary academic objective of the proposal was to provide a research experience for undergraduate students working on two projects closely associated with drug development. Funds from the grant were used exclusively to pay undergraduates for their time spent conducting research. Consequently, the objectives were met completely.
Evaluation of the mentoring environment
My research group consists of postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, a full-time technician, and approximately 10 undergraduate researchers (depending on the time of the year). Each undergraduate was directly mentored by either a postdoctoral researcher, a senior graduate student, my technician or by me. Because these mentors work full time in the laboratory, undergraduate researchers have nearly constant access to instruction. Consequently, I evaluate the mentoring environment as excellent.
List of students who participated and what academic deliverables they have produced or it is anticipated they will produce
Two of the students (Brian Hilton and Scott Weber) are coauthors on a paper recently submitted to Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. Three other undergraduates will be coauthors on a paper that will be submitted in the next month. A majority of these undergraduate have presented or will present their research at the Spring Research Conference.
Description of the results/findings of the project
The primary findings from research involving undergraduates is that bacteria that are highly resistant to antibiotics remain susceptible to ceragenins, which we developed as mimics of endogenous antimicrobial peptides. A lead ceragenin prevents bacterial colonization of medical devices including endotracheal tubes and urinary catheters.
Description of how the budget was spent
All of the funds provided were spent for undergraduate student wages.