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Monika Kumaraswamy

Title(s)Assistant Clinical Professor, Medicine
SchoolHealth Sciences
Phone858-642-3019
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA06/2015Infectious Diseases Fellowship
    Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH06/2012Internal Medicine Residency
    Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WIMD05/2009Medicine
    Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZBS05/2004Microbiology
    Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZBS05/2004Chemistry

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Dr. Kumaraswamy earned a Bachelor of Science in both Microbiology and Chemistry, a minor in Spanish and graduated summa cum laude with honors from Northern Arizona University. She then pursued a medical degree at the Medical College of Wisconsin prior to completing an internal medicine residency at Case Western Reserve University, subspecialty infectious diseases fellowship and medical microbiology training at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) earning board certifications in both internal medicine and infectious diseases, and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology. Following completion of her infectious diseases fellowship, Dr. Kumaraswamy became an Assistant Professor of Medicine at UCSD, infectious diseases attending physician at both the VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) and UCSD Health, the Hospital Epidemiologist and Head of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) at the VASDHS, and teaches medical microbiology within the UCSD School of Medicine.

    Research Interests: Current antibiotic practices are unsustainable due to the spread of antimicrobial resistance and lack of new antibiotic classes. Perhaps most poignantly put by the WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security, Dr. Keiji Fukuda, “Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill.” Apart from the development of novel antibiotics, alternative strategies need to be embraced to tackle multi-drug resistant infections. Completely unaccounted for in the current antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) paradigm are the many dynamic interactions that occur among the bacterial pathogen, potential antimicrobial agents and components of the host innate immune system, such as endogenous antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), serum complement and phagocytic cells including neutrophils and macrophages. In her ongoing research, Dr. Kumaraswamy has adopted a “two-tier testing” approach to AST incorporating not only the bacterial pathogen and antimicrobial agent, but also the above mentioned components of host defense. Through this analysis, she has help to identify striking bactericidal activity of current FDA-approved antibiotics which themselves have no activity in standard laboratory AST testing, but rather function to dramatically sensitize MDR pathogens to innate immune factors, as proven in checkerboard and kinetic AMP killing assays, ex vivo serum and phagocytic cell killing assays, and in vivo models of MDR infection. This knowledge may inspire a rethinking of the utility of “forgotten” antibiotics in adjunctive therapy of difficult infections by enhancing the innate immune system's contribution to bacterial clearance and could rapidly be implemented in the clinical setting.

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Monoclonal Ab Therapy vs. Pseudomonas aeruginosa
    Inhibrix, Inc. Jul 1, 2018 - Jan 31, 2019
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Clostridium difficile CLOVER Trial
    Pfizer Jul 1, 2017 - Jun 30, 2020
    Role: Co-Investrigator
    Systems Biology Approach To MDR Pathogens
    NIH 1U01AI12431Jul 1, 2016 - Jun 30, 2018
    Role: Postdoctoral Fellow

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    Collapse In The News

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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    1. Sun CF, Chen YL, Li YH, Kumaraswamy M, Lo YC, Chen YT. Duloxetine-Induced Hyponatremia in an Elderly Male Patient with Treatment-Refractory Major Depressive Disorder. Case Rep Psychiatry. 2019; 2019:4109150. PMID: 31214374.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Schooley RT, Biswas B, Gill JJ, Hernandez-Morales A, Lancaster J, Lessor L, Barr JJ, Reed SL, Rohwer F, Benler S, Segall AM, Taplitz R, Smith DM, Kerr K, Kumaraswamy M, Nizet V, Lin L, McCauley MD, Strathdee SA, Benson CA, Pope RK, Leroux BM, Picel AC, Mateczun AJ, Cilwa KE, Regeimbal JM, Estrella LA, Wolfe DM, Henry MS, Quinones J, Salka S, Bishop-Lilly KA, Young R, Hamilton T. Erratum for Schooley et al., "Development and Use of Personalized Bacteriophage-Based Therapeutic Cocktails To Treat a Patient with a Disseminated Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii Infection". Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2018 Dec; 62(12). PMID: 30478181.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Kumaraswamy M, Collignon S, Do C, Kim J, Nizet V, Friend J. Decontaminating surfaces with atomized disinfectants generated by a novel thickness-mode lithium niobate device. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2018 Aug; 102(15):6459-6467. PMID: 29804135.
      View in: PubMed
    4. LaVergne S, Hamilton T, Biswas B, Kumaraswamy M, Schooley RT, Wooten D. Phage Therapy for a Multidrug-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii Craniectomy Site Infection. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2018 Apr; 5(4):ofy064. PMID: 29687015.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Askarian F, Lapek JD, Dongre M, Tsai CM, Kumaraswamy M, Kousha A, Valderrama JA, Ludviksen JA, Cavanagh JP, Uchiyama S, Mollnes TE, Gonzalez DJ, Wai SN, Nizet V, Johannessen M. Staphylococcus aureus Membrane-Derived Vesicles Promote Bacterial Virulence and Confer Protective Immunity in Murine Infection Models. Front Microbiol. 2018; 9:262. PMID: 29515544.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Kumaraswamy M, Do C, Sakoulas G, Nonejuie P, Tseng GW, King H, Fierer J, Pogliano J, Nizet V. Listeria monocytogenes endocarditis: case report, review of the literature, and laboratory evaluation of potential novel antibiotic synergies. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2018 Mar; 51(3):468-478. PMID: 29337066.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Sakoulas G, Kumaraswamy M, Kousha A, Nizet V. Interaction of Antibiotics with Innate Host Defense Factors against Salmonella enterica Serotype Newport. mSphere. 2017 Nov-Dec; 2(6). PMID: 29242830.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Schooley RT, Biswas B, Gill JJ, Hernandez-Morales A, Lancaster J, Lessor L, Barr JJ, Reed SL, Rohwer F, Benler S, Segall AM, Taplitz R, Smith DM, Kerr K, Kumaraswamy M, Nizet V, Lin L, McCauley MD, Strathdee SA, Benson CA, Pope RK, Leroux BM, Picel AC, Mateczun AJ, Cilwa KE, Regeimbal JM, Estrella LA, Wolfe DM, Henry MS, Quinones J, Salka S, Bishop-Lilly KA, Young R, Hamilton T. Development and Use of Personalized Bacteriophage-Based Therapeutic Cocktails To Treat a Patient with a Disseminated Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii Infection. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2017 10; 61(10). PMID: 28807909.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Sakoulas G, Olson J, Yim J, Singh NB, Kumaraswamy M, Quach DT, Rybak MJ, Pogliano J, Nizet V. Cefazolin and Ertapenem, a Synergistic Combination Used To Clear Persistent Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2016 11; 60(11):6609-6618. PMID: 27572414.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Kumaraswamy M, Lin L, Olson J, Sun CF, Nonejuie P, Corriden R, Döhrmann S, Ali SR, Amaro D, Rohde M, Pogliano J, Sakoulas G, Nizet V. Standard susceptibility testing overlooks potent azithromycin activity and cationic peptide synergy against MDR Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2016 May; 71(5):1264-9. PMID: 26832758.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Sakoulas G, Kumaraswamy M, Nonejuie P, Werth BJ, Rybak MJ, Pogliano J, Rice LB, Nizet V. Differential Effects of Penicillin Binding Protein Deletion on the Susceptibility of Enterococcus faecium to Cationic Peptide Antibiotics. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2015 Oct; 59(10):6132-9. PMID: 26195528.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Lin L, Nonejuie P, Munguia J, Hollands A, Olson J, Dam Q, Kumaraswamy M, Rivera H, Corriden R, Rohde M, Hensler ME, Burkart MD, Pogliano J, Sakoulas G, Nizet V. Azithromycin Synergizes with Cationic Antimicrobial Peptides to Exert Bactericidal and Therapeutic Activity Against Highly Multidrug-Resistant Gram-Negative Bacterial Pathogens. EBioMedicine. 2015 Jul; 2(7):690-8. PMID: 26288841.
      View in: PubMed