Dr. Barbara W. Trautner, professor and director of clinical and health research in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, has been awarded funding in the amount of $15,000, from Baylor’s Cardiovascular Research Institute Pilot Awards (CVRI Pilot Award), for her research, “Bacteriophage Therapy for Drive Line Infections of Ventricular Assist Devices.” The Cardiovascular Research Institute at Baylor provides state-of-the-art medical care and innovative research.
This research project focuses on a novel treatment for infections of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs). One of the impediments to successful LVAD therapy is intractable infection of the device and associated parts, particularly the driveline. This research will study the use of bacteriophage, or viruses that attack specific strains of bacteria, to treat LVAD driveline infections that are refractory to antibiotics. This will be explored in vitro with clinical bacterial strains collected from LVAD patients at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, and then test the most effective phage in an animal model of drive line infection.
Dr. Trautner is an infectious disease clinician-investigator at Baylor and the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, affiliated with the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety (IQuESt). She is currently the Director of Clinical and Health Services Research in the Department of Surgery at Baylor and a Co-Program Director of the NHLBI T32 Training Program in Cardiovascular Surgery. She also directs the SHARE @ IQuESt program (Surgical Health services Academy for Research and Education), a collaboration with the Department of Surgery that supports surgical faculty in their development as health services researchers. Dr. Trautner completed her internship, residency, and fellowship at Baylor and obtained a Ph.D. in clinical investigation from Baylor College of Medicine Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.