Giraldina Trevejo-Nuñez, MD, has been awarded Catalytic Grant funding in the amount of $53,341 for a one-year award by the K Award to R Advancement Training (KARAT) Program for her proposal entitled “Pulmonary Regnase-1 contributions to epithelial fitness and repair during Klebsiella pneumoniae infection.” The KARAT Program is a new Department of Medicine initiative for NIH-mentored K-awardees or other equivalent mentored Career Development Awardees (CDA) to enhance their success in obtaining their first R grant. The KARAT program provides a broad range of career development activities and academic support, including grant-writing workshops, grant reviews, academic skills training, networking, and peer support for K/CDA awardees.

Klebsiella pneumoniae (KP) is the third leading cause of healthcare-associated pneumonia in the United States and represents a significant medical challenge due to its multidrug resistance profile. During pneumonia, the host needs a robust inflammatory response for successful pathogen eradication; however, this can come at the cost of tremendous tissue damage. To counteract collateral damage, negative feedback mechanisms, such as the endoribonuclease Regnase-1 (Reg1), are invoked during inflammation. Reg1 is an RNA-binding protein that recognizes and degrades many pro-inflammatory mRNAs. Consequently, Reg1 modulates the inflammatory response against KP lung infection.

The overall objective of this research is to understand Reg1 function in lung epithelial cells during KP pneumonia and exploit Reg1-dependent mechanisms that modulate host inflammation and lung repair.

Please join me in congratulating Giraldina!