Ghady Haidar, MD, has been awarded a KL2 Career Development Award and appointment to the Clinical and Translational Science (CTS) Scholars Program through a highly competitive process. The program is supported by the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). This KL2 mechanism is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program. The KL2 program prepares scientists from a broad range of disciplines, specialties, and subspecialties for independent careers in clinical or translational research. This award provides at least 75% protected time for research as well as a budget for supplies and materials.

Dr. Haidar’s project is entitled “The Gut Microbiome in Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) Colonization, Persistence, Infection, and Tolerance after Lung or Liver Transplantation.” CRE are major global threats and continue to cause substantial morbidity and mortality in organ transplant recipients despite the advent of novel antibiotics such as ceftazidime-avibactam and meropenemvaborbactam. The overall goal of this prospective, longitudinal study is to test the hypothesis that long-term CRE colonization after lung/liver transplant is a result of persistence of antibiotic-tolerant CRE isolates that colonize the gut early after transplant, a process that is associated with a reduction in stool diversity and abundance of Proteobacteria and maintained by ongoing dysbiosis. Dr. Haidar will study the genetic characteristics of CRE that cause gut colonization, persistence, and infection after lung or liver transplant and define the gut microbiota environment in which these events occur. Additionally, he will identify an early post-transplant gut microbiome signature that can predict future CRE colonization. Under the mentorship of Dr. Cornelius Clancy, MD, and, Dr. Alison Morris, MD, MS, Dr. Haidar’s overall goal is to advance our understanding of the mechanisms of CRE colonization, persistence, and infection in SOT recipients. His findings will inform the rational design of trials of strategies to manipulate the microbiome in order to prevent CRE colonization in at-risk individuals, and to eradicate established CRE colonization and treat CRE infections.

Please join us in congratulating Ghady!