April 30, 2014

Pappas among first academics to conduct clinical research at NIH

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peter pappas wUAB Professor Peter Pappas, M.D., a specialist in infectious disease, is among an inaugural group of non-government researchers selected to conduct clinical research at the nation's largest hospital devoted entirely to clinical research.

Through three-year, renewable awards of up to $500,000 per year, scientists from institutions across the United States will collaborate with government scientists in the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Pappas will work with a group examining a new strain of the fungus Cryptococcus gattii that is spreading in different parts of the world, most recently in North America, causing a severe and potentially fatal illness involving the lungs and the brain. The group will also focus on cryptococcal infections due to the much more common organism, Cryptococcus neoformans, which may occur in otherwise immunologically normal patients.

The study will collect data to help scientists understand the risks of contracting this infection and ways to treat it in addition to identifying any special vulnerabilities.