Robin Patel, M.D., is the director of the Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory. In the research laboratory, she and her colleagues focus on biofilms. Biofilms cause a large number of infections in modern clinical practice, such as prosthetic joint infection and endocarditis.
Dr. Patel and her team are unraveling the process of biofilm formation and resistance of biofilms to antibiotics. They are developing new and improved diagnostic tools and treatment strategies for biofilm-associated infections. Her group uses in vitro studies as well as animal models of infection for their studies.
Dr. Patel is also the chair of the Division of Clinical Microbiology and the director of its clinical Bacteriology Laboratory. In this state-of-the-art clinical facility, she and her colleagues develop and deploy cutting-edge assays for clinical detection of bacteria, identification of bacteria, and characterization of antimicrobial resistance and susceptibility.
- Biofilm-mediated infections
- Novel approaches to diagnosing prosthetic joint infection
- Novel antimicrobial agents for therapy of bacterial infections, including in vitro studies, in vivo studies (rabbit endocarditis, mouse pneumonia and rat osteomyelitis models) and human trials
- Clinical bacteriology diagnostic assays
Significance to patient care
Most bacterial infections seen in modern clinical practice are associated with bacterial biofilms. Examples of biofilm-associated infections include prosthetic joint infection and endocarditis.
These infections can be challenging to treat because as in biofilms, bacteria are relatively resistant to host immune responses and traditional antibiotics. In the research laboratory, Dr. Patel and her collaborators are developing new and improved diagnostic tools and treatment strategies for biofilm-associated infections.
In the clinical Bacteriology Laboratory, Dr. Patel and her colleagues aim to offer state-of-the-art assays for clinical detection of bacteria, identification of bacteria, and characterization of antimicrobial resistance and susceptibility. In the laboratory itself, they develop many of the bacteriology assays offered for patient care at Mayo Clinic, providing the most technologically and clinically relevant diagnostics possible.
- Member (2002-2007; 2012-2018), Vice Chair (2013-2015) and Chair (2015-2018) — Program Planning Committee, Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, American Society for Microbiology
- Adviser, Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute, 2012-present
- Member, Annual Meeting Planning Committee, Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2010-2013
- Member, Nominations Committee, BD Award for Research in Clinical Microbiology, American Society for Microbiology, 2010-2013
- Editor, Journal of Clinical Microbiology, American Society for Microbiology, 2009-2014
- Member, Editorial Board, Clinical Microbiology Reviews, American Society for Microbiology, 2002-present
- Member, Editorial Board, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, American Society for Microbiology, 2001-2010
- Member (2009-2016) and Chair (2014-2016) — Test Material Development Committee, USMLE Step 1 Microbiology, National Board of Medical Examiners
- Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology, 2012-present
- Outstanding Woman in Medicine, Mayo Clinic Chapters of American Medical Student Association and American Medical Women's Association, 2008