Yearly Archives: 2021


  • Congratulations to Anthony Thai for completing his Medical Scholars Project

    The Santa Maria said farewell and congratulations to Stanford medical student, Anthony Thai, this week who completed a year of research studying chronic suppurative otitis media and evaluating ototoxicity of novel therapeutics. Anthony has a bright medical career ahead!…

  • Santa Maria lab presentations at the American Otological Society meeting

    Anthony Thai, a final year medical student working in the Santa Maria lab as part of a Medical Scholars research term, presented 2 podium talks surrounding research in chronic suppurative otitis media. The first showed how persister cells are responsible for treatment failure. Topical antibiotics and antiseptics are inadequate to treat these and explains the large relapsing burden of CSOM. The second study presented looked at the heal care burden of CSOM. Medical treatment has a very high chance of failure within the first year of treatment with surgery extending the time to recurrence but not eliminating late recurrences. The healthcare burden for CSOM in the US is up to $11 billion per year.

  • Neutrophils are implicated in the ineffective immune response of CSOM

    The Santa Maria lab, led by Dr Khomtchouk published in Nature Publishing Journal’s Biofilms and Microbiomes assessing the host response to CSOM using multiparameter flow cytometry and a binomial generalized linear machine learning model. We identified a surface marker of mature neutrophils, as the most informative factor of host response driving disease in the CSOM mouse model. Moreover, neutrophil-specific immunomodulatory treatment using the topical neutrophil elastase inhibitor GW 311616A significantly reduced bacterial burden relative to ofloxacin-only treated CSOM. Together these data strongly implicate neutrophils in the ineffective immune response to P. aeruginosa infection observed in CSOM and suggest that immunomodulation strategies may benefit drug-resistant infections for this disease.

  • Dr. Anping Xia presented SNHL in CSOM in 2021 ARO meeting

    CSOM is a neglected tropical disease affecting 330 million people worldwide and is the most common cause of permanent hearing loss among children in developing countries. Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) is the leading cause, initially generating acute otitis media and later converting from a planktonic to biofilm state. We have created and validated CSOM mouse model. We concluded that SNHL severity depends on the exposure to specific phenotypes of PA, and Macrophages are recruited and are the key innate immune cells in the cochlea of CSOM.

  • Translational Grant awarded from the RNID

    We are pleased to announce our lab has been awarded a translational grant by the The Royal National Institute for Deaf People in the UK to advance the nanomedicine approach to tackle chronic suppurative otitis media. The award last through 2024 and we aim to complete the translational work needed to bring it to the clinic.