Blue Devil Resistome Project (2017-2018)

The past several decades have witnessed a rapid rise of antibiotic resistance globally. The World Health Organization ranks antibiotic resistance as one of the top three threats to global health, and several southern hospitals, including the Duke hospital, have seen a steady increase in the incidence of bacterial pathogens. These observations raise a potential safety concern for individuals who work and live around hospitals, healthcare centers and research labs.

In order to gain a deeper understanding of the scope of antibiotic resistance in the environment and chart the spread of antibiotic resistance, this team mapped the distribution of antibiotic-resistance genes across the Duke campus.

Team members developed a sample collection strategy to track sample specimens, environmental conditions and the timing of collection and sampled multiple sites at Duke, providing initial measurements of the distribution of culturable pathogens and a subset of those resistant to a beta-lactam antibiotic.Students also initiated the preliminary characterization of a subset of these bacteria, describing their growth characteristics and their ability to transfer genes.


Summer 2017 – Spring 2018

Team Outputs

Carolyn Zhang, Wenchen Song, Helena R. Ma,  Xiao Peng, Deverick J. Anderson, Vance G. Fowler Jr, Joshua T. Thaden, Minfeng Xiao, Lingchong You. 2020. "Temporal encoding of bacterial identity and traits in growth dynamics." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

Blue Devil Resistome Project (project team website)

Blue Devil Resistome Project (poster by Jonathan Bethke, Carolyn Zhang, Adam Davidovich, Youlim Kim, Avivah Wang, Ammara Aqeel, Tanios Dagher, Sophia Ellingham, Jennifer Huh, Frederick Lang, Xiao Peng, Kira Wang, Ben Wesorick, Joyce Zhou, Lingchong You); Audience Choice Winner at Bass Connections Showcase, April 18, 2018

This Team in the News

These Seniors Took Their Bass Connections Research Further and Graduated with Distinction

Bass Connections Annual Report Out Now

Meet the Members of the 2018-19 Student Advisory Council

Bass Connections Showcase Presents Research Highlights from Durham to Malaysia

Exploring Duke’s Microbiome

Meet the Members of the 2017-18 Student Advisory Council

Using Less Antibiotics Is Not Enough to Stop Resistant Bacteria, Study Finds

Additional support for this project is provided by The Snyderman Fund to encourage undergraduate research in the genomics as well as the Duke School of Medicine, the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and the Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies.

Bass Connections team members sampling in an elevator

Team Leaders

  • Lingchong You, Pratt School of Engineering-Biomedical Engineering

/graduate Team Members

  • Xiao Peng, Biomedical Engineering-MS
  • Alexander McCumber, Biomedical Engineering-MS, Civil & Environmental Engg-PHD

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Frederick Lang, Biology (BS)
  • Benjamin Wesorick, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
  • Kira Wang, Psychology (AB)
  • Avivah Wang, Computer Science (BS)
  • Annie Tang, Statistical Science (BS), Computer Science (BS2)
  • /undergraduate
  • Ammara Aqeel, Biology (BS)
  • You Lim Kim, Biology (BS)
  • Jai Eun Huh, Biology (BS)
  • Sophia Ellingham, Computer Science (BS)
  • Adam Davidovich, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
  • Tanios Dagher, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Susanne Haga, Sanford School of Public Policy|School of Medicine-Population Health Sciences
  • Claudia Gunsch, Pratt School of Engineering-Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Geoffrey Ginsburg, School of Medicine-Medicine: Cardiology
  • Raphael Valdivia, School of Medicine-Molecular Genetics and Microbiology