Eric Delgado, Efflux Pump Foiler
We’ve all heard how germs are become more and more resistant to antibiotics. Well, when high school Eric Delgado had the chance to work with Jersey City Medical Center researchers who were investigating one such drug-resistant bug (MRSA), he came away determined to find a solution.
After learning that some bacteria use a mechanism called an efflux pump (built into their membranes) to expel antibiotics, Eric wanted to find a way to turn off the pumps.
Luckily, he had a teacher willing to help him make contacts across the country who then supplied him with everything from advice to plant compounds. Over 2 years of experimentation, Eric was able to determine how much antibiotic each pump expelled, and thus how much medicine need be administered to overcome that.
He has now brought his talents to Yale University, and eventually wants to work in public health, where I’m sure he’ll have a positive impact. :)
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