University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health

Safdar Lab

Nasia Safdar, MD, PhD | Research on healthcare-associated infections

Welcome to the Safdar reseach program. Our team, led by Dr. Nasia Safdar, is focused on clinical research and quality improvement measures aimed at reducing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and the rise of multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs). We also are actively investigating the role of the microbiome in health and disease. 

Mission:

Our overall objective is to find novel approaches to prevent and treat healthcare-associated infections, particularly in the acute care setting.

Overview:

We are interested in finding novel interventions to reduce health-care associated infections and combat multi-drug resistant organisms at the patient level through clinical trials and quality improvement projects and also in the laboratory by assessing the gut microbiome as a reservoir of multi-drug resistant organisms.

Patient-Oriented Research and Clinical Trials

Dr. Nasia Safdar
Our clinical research program focuses on reducing the incidence of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and improving interventions for these infections with a particular emphasis on reducing the burden of multi-drug resistant infections (MDROs).

  • C. difficile and MDROs in the Healthcare Setting: We are evaluating novel therapeutics to treat HAIs and MDROs. For example, we are investigating probiotics and fecal microbiome transplants to treat recurrent C. difficile infections.
  • Decolonization as a prevention strategy: HAIs are expensive and challenging to treat, which means novel methods of prevention are as important as effective and safe treatments. Because skin or gut colonization of MDROs can serve as a reservoir for subsequent infection, we are investigating novel decolonization measures. For example, we are interested in chlorhexidine gluconate bathing for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) decolonization and fecal microbiome transplants to eliminate Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) carriage. 

Selected Publications — Patient-Oriented Research and Clinical Trials

Human Gut Microbiome 

microbiome researchBillions of microorganisms live on and within the human body these microorganisms make up the microbiome. Our laboratory is interested in understanding the connection between the microbiome and infectious diseases across multiple body sites, mainly the skin, nose and gut.  

  • The Wisconsin Microbiome Study is a large, population-based cohort study across the state of Wisconsin that aims to understand the relationship between the nasal, gut, and skin microbiomes and colonization with multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs). A similar study in children is investigating the nasal, gut, and skin microbiomes of children between the ages of 6 months and five years. A major focus of this study is to assess the impact of daycare exposure on the microbiome and colonization with multi-drug resistant organisms (MRDOs).
  • Projects specific to a veteran population are investigating the carriage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) by analyzing nasal and gut microbiomes and seeking to understand Gulf War Illness through salivary and gut microbiomes.

Selected publications — Human Gut Microbiome

Positions Available:

There are many opportunities for motivated individuals in the Safdar Lab! We are currently seeking graduate students and postdocs interested in patient-oriented projects and clinical trials and/or microbiome and laboratory research. If you are interested in joining the group, please send your CV and a brief description of your research experience and interests to Dr. Safdar at ns2@medicine.wisc.edu.