Amy Mathers, M.D.

University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA

Candidate for the Council on Microbial Sciences
Associate Professor of Medicine and Pathology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Education:
  • Medical School: Loyola Stritch School of Medicine
  • Infectious Disease Fellowship and Microbiology training: University of Virginia
Professional Experience:
  • Clinical Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship
  • Associate Director of Clinical Microbiology
  • Voting Member of Clinical Laboratory and Standards Institute
  • Liaison between the CLSI and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA)
ASM Activities:
  • Member since 2010
Publications:
  1. Elliott ZS, Barry KE, Cox HL, Stoesser N, Carroll J, Vegesana K, Kotay S, Sheppard AE, Wailan A, Crook DW, Parikh H, Mathers AJ. The Role of fosA in Challenges with Fosfomycin Susceptibility Testing of Multispecies Klebsiella pneumoniae Carbapenemase-Producing Clinical Isolates. J Clin Microbiol. (2019) PMID: 31340992.
  2. Sheppard AE, Stoesser N, German-Mesner I, Vegesana K, Sarah Walker A, Crook DW, Mathers AJ. TETyper: a bioinformatic pipeline for classifying variation and genetic contexts of transposable elements from short-read whole-genome sequencing data. Microb Genom. (2018) PMID: 30465646.
  3. Humphries RM, Hindler J, Jane Ferraro M, Mathers AJ. Twenty-first Century Cures Act and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing: Clinical Implications in the Era of Multidrug Resistance. Clin Infect Dis. (2018) PMID: 29796616.
  4. Mathers AJ, Vegesana K, German Mesner I, Barry KE, Pannone A, Baumann J, Crook DW, Stoesser N, Kotay S, Carroll J, Sifri CD. Intensive Care Unit Wastewater Interventions to Prevent Transmission of Multi-species Klebsiella pneumoniae Carbapenemase (KPC) Producing Organisms. Clin Infect Dis. (2018) PMID: 29409044.
  5. Kotay S, Chai W, Guilford W, Barry K, Mathers AJ. Spread from the Sink to the Patient: in situ Study Using Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) Expressing- Escherichia coli to Model Bacterial Dispersion from Hand Washing Sink Trap Reservoirs. Appl Environ Microbiol. (2017) PMID: 28235877.
  6. Sheppard AE, Stoesser N, Wilson DJ, Sebra R, Kasarskis A, Anson LW, Giess A, Pankhurst LJ, Vaughan A, Grim CJ, Cox HL, Yeh AJ; Modernising Medical Microbiology (MMM) Informatics Group, Sifri CD, Walker AS, Peto TE, Crook DW, Mathers AJ. Nested Russian Doll-like Genetic Mobility Drives Rapid Dissemination of the Carbapenem Resistance Gene blaKPC. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. (2016) PMID: 27067320.
  7. Mathers AJ, Peirano G, Pitout JD. The Role of Epidemic Resistance Plasmids and International High-Risk Clones in the Spread of Multidrug-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae. Clin Microbiol Rev. (2015) PMID:25926236.
Research Interests:
Focusing on the urgent problem of carbapenem resistance in Enterobacteriaceae, I have been evaluating detection methods in clinical microbiology and molecular transmission of carbapenemase genes for the last twelve years with a focus on the hospital environment. Molecular characterization has included analysis of mobile resistance mechanisms with evaluation of plasmid evolution and mobility across species with next generation sequencing paired with more traditional techniques. Recently, I have investigated the role that the hospital environment can play in evolution and dissemination of carbapenemase genes.
With an interest in antimicrobial susceptibility testing and its relation to antimicrobial stewardship, I have focused on the clinical impact of emerging diagnostics with prescribing practices. In addition, I am also interested on the impact of molecular mechanisms on susceptibility testing accuracy.

Statement:
This is a critical time for microbiology. With changing technologies and evolving organisms, we need to be prepared to meet the challenges presented to our field of science. Importantly, we are witnessing the clinical impact of antimicrobial resistance in both healthcare and veterinary medicine. Microbiologists will need to work together to understand the interplay between antimicrobial resistance gene exchange among unique microbial niches.
With my love of bacterial evolution, experience with emerging technologies, involvement in clinical microbiology and first-hand knowledge seeing patients affected by untreatable organisms, I am well positioned to help bring a voice to important issues facing microbiologists. I have committed my efforts to understanding the detection and dissemination of antimicrobial resistance through horizontal gene transfer. This interest has taken me to environmental microbiology, antimicrobial stewardship, clinical diagnostics and healthcare epidemiology. It is paramount to be inclusive across the spectrum of microbiology to solve big issues such as emerging antimicrobial resistance. This will require listening to the voices of the membership and being open to new ideas.
Simultaneous to emerging microbial challenges, tools for understanding microbiology are also undergoing a revolution. Whole genome sequencing has provided unimaginable tools in the last decade for evaluating microorganisms. Training both the current and next generation of scientists in the application of these tools will be central to tackling future challenges in microbiology. Microbiologists’ involvement will be essential to ensuring thoughtful applications of our technological advances.
Lastly, ensuring that clinical microbiologists have access to novel life-saving diagnostics, while making sure that the practice of clinical microbiology remains a protected and valued profession is critical. Using the expertise of front-line microbiologists to evaluate antimicrobial susceptibility diagnostics and the rapidly evolving world of syndromic diagnostics is central to getting thoughtfully designed diagnostics to the help patients. Highlighting the importance of having an experienced and informed clinical microbiologist in an evolving healthcare system is crucial.
I will listen to the needs of the membership across the spectrum to make sure that there is representation of multiple viewpoints. During this important time, it is paramount to have advocacy for diverse microbiology voices to be heard by our leaders. I hope to provide additional voice to the membership, and I would be honored to serve as a Council on Microbial Sciences representative during this pivotal time.

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