Yearly Archives: 2021


  • Santa Maria Lab @ Bel Mateo Bowl

    In the first social outing since the start of the pandemic, the Santa Maria Lab traveled to the Bel Mateo Bowl in San Mateo, CA on November 24th to battle it out in a bowling tournament. In a major upset to the previous tournament winner, Dr. Xia played a skilled and technical game which led…

  • Uncovering why we lose hearing in CSOM

    Dr Xia and Dr Schiel presented their work on understanding the mechanisms of sensory hearing loss that occurs with chronic suppurative otitis media at the Stanford Otolaryngology Department's Annual Research Day. Their work is leading to a potential immune cause of hearing loss in infection…

  • A 4-11 Billion Dollar Impact of CSOM in the US Every Year

    Researchers, led by medical student Anthony Thai published part of his medical scholars' work this week highlighting the impact of chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM) on the US health care system. The third world impact is well known, but until now we did not know the US burden. Patients in the US can expect…

  • The Santa Maria Lab Featured at The Academy

    Last week, Dr. Santa Maria and Dr. Kaufman headlined a panel at the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery’s Annual Meeting. The panel was titled “The Chronic Ear: Why Current Treatments Fail”. Together, they presented the work from the lab showing how persister cells are at the heart of infection relapse and what best treatments we have to combat recurrent ear infections.

  • Dr Bekale talks nanomedicine approaches to targeting bacterial persister cells.

    Dr Bekale presented his yearly department talk describing the advances in the therapeutic research he is leading in the Santa Maria lab. He discussed a unique nano approach to targeting bacterial persister cells.

  • Dr. Devesh Sharma joins as a Visiting Scholar

    Dr. Sharma joins the lab having completed his MBBS (MD) from the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences. He is currently undertaking a Masters in Otolaryngology a the Government Medical College, Nagpur during his Residency training. He will be working towards characterizing persister cell populations in chronic suppurative otitis media and also developing a better diagnostic for clinicians.

  • Partnership with NIDCR and Auration Biotech for oral wound healing

    The Santa Maria Lab has just received an R41 grant to perform in vivo work for their topical oral wound healing treatment. The funding is provided by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and it will fund a collaboration with Auration Biotech. The Santa Maria lab is aiming to further develop their treatment for oral ulcers which can be caused by a number of different pathologies and in its most serious form can lead to severe infections and inability to eat or drink.

  • The Santa Maria Lab is awarded an STTR grant from the NIDCD

    In collaboration with The Barron Lab and Maxwell Biosciences, the Santa Maria Lab has received NIH funding through the National Institute for Deafness and Communication Disorders. The grant aims to translate antimicrobial peptoids for the treatment of chronic suppurative otitis media. This is the culmination of an ongoing collaboration between the Barron Lab, the inventors of the peptoids and the Santa Maria Lab who will look to show efficacy in their animal model and test for safety and toxicity.

  • Dr Viktoria Schiel joins as Postdoctoral Fellow

    The Santa Maria Lab is excited to announce Dr. Schiel joining the lab as a Post Doctoral Fellow. Dr. Schiel is an Otolaryngologist who joins us from the Department of Otolaryngology at the Munich Clinic Schwabing. Her work will focus around understanding mechanisms of sensory hearing loss in chronic suppurative otitis media…

  • Persister Cells cause CSOM Failure

    CSOM is very difficult to treat. Antibiotics and other topical therapies are good at inactivating the infection in the short term but often lead to medium term relapse. The Santa Maria Lab shows, in their Otology & Neurotology publication, that bacterial persisters are behind the relapse with current topical therapies unable to eradicate these. The cells have very low metabolic activity and survive antibiotic attack. They re-establish the infection after treatment has finished leading to cycles of infection. Repeated topical antibiotic therapies are likely to lead to long term development of bacterial resistance. Targeting these persister cells are critical for eradicating CSOM.