Hoffman Lab

In the News

Possible Secret Revealed: A recent discovery about how Pseudomonas interacts with Staphylococcus points the way to understanding its drug resistance – and defeating chronic lung infections.

March 2011 - Feature story in the Seattle Children's and UW Department of Pediatrics Academic Annual Report. In the past, researchers studied Pseudomonas in isolation despite the fact that it's rarely the lone bacterium in the lungs of people with CF. Hoffman decided to study how Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus aureus – the other bacterium most commonly found in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients – behave when the two are grown together. Read more...

Discover Magazine - "Hard Living Breeds Superbugs"

September 2010 - Dr. Lucas Hoffman was quoted in Discover Magazine in an article entitled "Hard Living Breeds Superbugs" regarding his finding that some bacteria can develop drug resistance in response to environmental change. Read more...

How Single Bacterium Get the Message to Split

Red Orbit news website

June 4, 2010 - Regulator is distributed unevenly during cell division to make two functionally and structurally different cells
Some species of bacteria perform an amazing reproductive feat. When the single-celled organism splits in two, the daughter cell - the swarmer - inherits a propeller to swim freely. The mother cell builds a stalk to cling to surfaces.
University of Washington (UW) researchers and their colleague at Stanford University designed biosensors to observe how a bacterium gets the message to divide into these two functionally and structurally different cells. The biosensors can measure biochemical fluctuations inside a single bacteria cell, which is smaller than an animal or plant cell. Read more...

Adapting to clogged airways makes common pathogen resist powerful antibiotics -- even without previous exposure


February 8, 2010 - People with cystic fibrosis frequently have lung infections that defy treatment. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that clogs airways with thick mucous. While the life expectancy for children with cystic fibrosis has increased over the past few decades, many lives are still shortened in young adulthood by the ravages of lung infections.

These chronic infections are often caused by common, environmental microbes that mutate in ways that let them live and thrive in viscous lung secretions. The same adaptations also make the pathogens less likely to be killed off by powerful antibiotics, according to a recent study led by Dr. Lucas "Luke" Hoffman, University of Washington assistant professor of pediatrics. Read more...

Lucas R. Hoffman receives American Society for Microbiology ICAAC Young Investigator Award

September 16, 2007 - Lucas R. Hoffman, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Pediatrics, Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine presented with American Society for Microbiology (ASM) ICAAC Young Investigator Award. Dr. Hoffman is being honored for his research excellence in microbiology and infectious disease. He is particularly known for a paper published in Nature in 2005 describing how aminoglycoside antibiotics induce biofilm formation, which could have a very profound impact on the care of patients with cystic fibrosis. A subsequent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2006 demonstrated the novel interaction between P. aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus in the presence of antibiotics. Read more...

Experts list top articles in infectious disease - Battling Biofilms

Pediatric News

February 2006 - A "tantalizing" study showed that subinhibitory concentrations of aminoglycoside antibiotics induce formation of biofilms and antibiotic resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and possibly other gram-negative organisms—"potentially contributing to some chronic or recurrent infections," Dr. Joseph W. St. Geme III, professor of pediatrics at Duke University, said (Nature 2005;436:1171-5). Read more...

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