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Q&A with Dr. Kevin Yehl: Armoring Viruses to Fight Antibiotic Resistant Infections

January 3, 2024

Antibiotic resistance is an urgent public health threat that PhRMA Foundation awardee Dr. Kevin Yehl of Miami University is working to help solve.

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria evolve so that medicines are no longer effective at treating infections. This is an urgent public health threat, resulting in about 5 million deaths annually worldwide.

One potential solution is phage therapy. Phages are viruses that can target and kill bacteria. However, delivering phages to the infection site is a major unsolved challenge. Phages can trigger the patient’s immune system, leading to their rapid clearance from the body, which results in treatment failure.

Kevin Yehl, PhD, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Miami University, received a 2023 PhRMA Foundation Faculty Starter Grant in Drug Delivery for his research synthesizing “stealth” phage therapies that can reach the infection site while maintaining therapeutic efficacy. He aims to encase individual phage particles in nano-glass armor to hide the phage from the immune system. He is also loading antibiotic drugs into the armor shell to study the potency of combination therapy.

Watch this video to learn about Yehl and his research.

Learn more about the PhRMA Foundation’s fellowship and grant opportunities. Check out more researcher stories on our blog.