University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) researcher Dr. Roger Pechous has received a $1.7 million grant to study the pathogenesis of pulmonary infection.
Pechous received the five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health, which will fund his lab’s research of Yersinia pestis, a deadly pathogen and the causative agent of plague. “I’m interested in understanding the progression of severe pneumonia, and this type of pneumonia is as severe as it gets,” Pechous said in a statement.
He has already received a $249,635 grant that allowed him to gather data, and the grant was upgraded by $1,496,382. The research grant will extend through 2026.
This research is designed to determine how the immune system incapacitates bacterial invaders in some cases and why not in other cases. “It is somewhat applicable to SARS [Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, a viral respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus], in that it looks at how a pathogen avoids getting cleared initially from the lungs, and more importantly, what is causing the failure of your immune system to control infection,” he said.