Reducing Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care

Nasia Safdar, MD, is an internationally recognized leader on healthcare-associated infection (HAI) research, specifically C. difficile infection.

Her research employs methods from health systems engineering to comprehensively prevent and reduce HAIs, especially in the acute care setting.

Closeup photo of researcher holding petri dish under lab hood

Clinical Trials and Microbiome Research

Dr. Safdar's research team leads clinical trials and quality improvement projects to investigates interventions for HAIs, with a particular emphasis on reducing the burden of multi-drug resistant infections.

Dr. Safdar's clinical trials website

Her laboratory research focuses on the billions of microorganisms that live on and within the human body and that make up the microbiome. Her team is investigating the connection between the microbiome and infectious diseases across multiple body sites, mainly the skin, nose and gut. 

Research Team

Research Specialist

Lab Manager

Research Specialist

Research Specialist

Scientist III

Research Health Scientist (VA)

Research Health Scientist (VA) and Honorary Associate (UW)

Research Specialist

Research Administrative Manager

Collaborator: Lindsay Kalan, PhD

Environmental photo of Dr. Nasia Safdar leaning against a clinic wall
Join Us!

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.

Active Projects

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

The Wisconsin Microbiome Study

This 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).

Veteran-Specific Studies

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.

Funding Support

Dr. Safdar's research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Veterans Health Administration.

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Help Us Transform Medicine

You can support research by making a gift to the Infectious Disease Fund for the Department of Medicine.