Professor of Clinical Medicine
Keck School of Medicine of USC
Institute for Genetic Medicine
Research OverviewDr. Spellberg is Chief Medical Officer at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California (LAC+USC) Medical Center. He is also a Professor of Clinical Medicine and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at the Keck School of Medicine at USC. He received his BA in Molecular Cell Biology-Immunology from UC Berkeley. He then attended medical school at UCLA, where he received numerous academic honors, including serving as the UCLA AOA Chapter Co-President, and winning the prestigious Stafford Warren award for the topic academic performance in his graduating class. Dr. Spellberg completed his Residency in Internal Medicine and subspecialty fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
Dr. Spellberg’s NIH-funded research interests are diverse, ranging from basic immunology and vaccinology, to pure clinical and outcomes research, to process improvement work related to delivery of care, focusing on safety net hospitals. His laboratory research has focused on developing a vaccine that targets the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus and the fungus Candida; the vaccine is undergoing clinical development. Dr. Spellberg is currently working on the immunology, vaccinology, and host defense against highly resistant Gram negative bacilli, including Acinetobacter and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae infections. He has an active discovery and development program for monoclonal antibodies targeting A. baumannii. He also is working on the pathogenesis of these infections, including the interface between diabetes, inflammation, and iron. He has a translational program evaluating transferrin as a potential therapeutic agent to treat infections and reduce the frequency of emergence of antibiotic resistance. He has also worked on a potential therapeutic intervention resulting from disrupting Gram negative LPS and host TLR4. The over-arching theme of the work in his lab is to understand the pathogenesis of infections caused by highly resistant bacteria, as well as fungi, with an intent to develop immune-modulatory therapeutic interventions to improve morbidity and mortality of these infections.