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Pediatric critical care physician awarded federal grant to better understand sepsis

Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research.

Feinstein Institutes researcher awarded National Institutes of Health grant

MANHASSET, NY —

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Matthew David Taylor, MD, instructor in the Institute of Molecular Medicine at The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, with a four-year, $781,920 grant for his efforts to determine whether prior infections change how the body responds to sepsis, a condition responsible for more than 300,000 deaths in the United States each year.

Sepsis is the body’s extreme immune system reaction to an infection that has the potential to cause widespread inflammation and may result in multi-organ dysfunction. Sepsis is a leading cause of death at hospitals nationwide.

“With this NIH support and through this research, we have the potential to explain the significant variability of sepsis and organ dysfunction, including the differences in manifestation in children vs. adults,” said Dr. Taylor.

Immune education's role in sepsis

Dr. Taylor, a Northwell Health physician specializing in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, will study his hypothesis that “immune education” and prior infections impacts organ function, innate immunity and the outcome of sepsis. He will compare mice that have received a treatment that mimics multiple infections to mice that have never had an illness, with the idea that this may alter how the body will respond to sepsis. He will also collect blood samples from patients with and without sepsis to study varied septic immune responses.

“Sepsis is a major cause of death and disability in the United States and the world, and the Feinstein Institutes’ researchers are recognized leaders in this field,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institutes. "Dr. Taylor's studies are positioned at the intersection of laboratory mechanisms and the patient themselves."