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April 14, 1993

Tufts University Medical School Center Explores Genetic Defenses of Bacteria, Cancer Cells

JAMA. 1993;269(14):1770-1775. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500140018005

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RESEARCHERS AT the Center for Adaptation Genetics and Drug Resistance at Tufts University Medical School, Boston, Mass, are out to outfox the defense systems of bacteria and cancer cells.

According to its director, Stuart B. Levy, MD, professor of medicine and of molecular biology and microbiology, the newly opened center is unique in being devoted to the study of genes and gene products that are called into play by bacteria and mammalian cells when exposed to growth inhibitory agents and other environmental stresses.

The multidisciplinary center currently has 18 researchers with expertise in molecular biology, genetics, nucleic acid and protein biochemistry, membrane transport, pharmacology, physiology, oncology, and infectious diseases. Their efforts are divided into four areas: tetracycline resistance, regulation of multidrug resistance in bacteria, multidrug resistance in cancer cells, and the development of soil bacteria for cleaning up toxic wastes.

The alarming increase in the incidence of multidrug-resistant bacteria underscores