The Perfect Predator

A Scientist's Race to Save Her Husband from a Deadly Superbug: A Memoir


By Steffanie Strathdee

By Thomas Patterson

With Teresa Barker

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$19.99 CAD

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An electrifying memoir of one woman’s extraordinary effort to save her husband’s life-and the discovery of a forgotten cure that has the potential to save millions more.

“A memoir that reads like a thriller.” –New York Times Book Review
“A fascinating and terrifying peek into the devastating outcomes of antibiotic misuseand what happens when standard health care falls short.” Scientific AmericanEpidemiologist Steffanie Strathdee and her husband, psychologist Tom Patterson, were vacationing in Egypt when Tom came down with a stomach bug. What at first seemed like a case of food poisoning quickly turned critical, and by the time Tom had been transferred via emergency medevac to the world-class medical center at UC San Diego, where both he and Steffanie worked, blood work revealed why modern medicine was failing: Tom was fighting one of the most dangerous, antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the world.Frantic, Steffanie combed through research old and new and came across phage therapy: the idea that the right virus, aka “the perfect predator,” can kill even the most lethal bacteria. Phage treatment had fallen out of favor almost 100 years ago, after antibiotic use went mainstream. Now, with time running out, Steffanie appealed to phage researchers all over the world for help. She found allies at the FDA, researchers from Texas A&M, and a clandestine Navy biomedical center — and together they resurrected a forgotten cure.A nail-biting medical mystery, The Perfect Predator is a story of love and survival against all odds, and the (re)discovery of a powerful new weapon in the global superbug crisis.

On Sale
Feb 26, 2019
Page Count
352 pages
Hachette Books

Steffanie Strathdee

About the Author

Steffanie Strathdee, PhD. Dr. Steffanie Strathdee obtained her BSc, MSc, and PhD from the University of Toronto. A dual citizen of Canada and the United States, she is Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences and Professor and Harold Simon Chair at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. She also directs the UC San Diego Global Health Institute and is an Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins and Simon Fraser Universities. Steffanie is an infectious disease epidemiologist who has 20 years’ experience and over 600 peer-reviewed publications on the prevention of HIV, sexually transmitted infection, and viral hepatitis among marginalized populations. She has led studies of populations at high risk of acquiring HIV in both domestic and international settings. She holds a prestigious MERIT award granted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse for her prospective study of people who inject drugs in Tijuana, Mexico. In 2009, she and her team were awarded the Leadership Award in International Collaboration from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In 2012, she received UC San Diego’s inaugural postdoctoral mentoring award and in 2013 received a mentoring award from the National Hispanic Science Network.



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Thomas Patterson

About the Author

Thomas Patterson, PhD. Dr. Tom Patterson obtained his AB from San Diego State University, his MSc from the University of Georgia, and his PhD from UC Riverside. Tom is an evolutionary sociobiologist and an experimental psychologist. He is a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at UC San Diego and has renowned expertise on behavioral interventions among HIV-positive persons and those at high risk of acquiring HIV and sexually transmitted infections. He developed a scale to assess everyday functioning in schizophrenia that has been mandated by the FDA and is in wide use, having been translated into 26 languages. He has held numerous grant awards from multiple sources and was the first researcher to be awarded a grant from NIH to develop and evaluate an intervention to reduce HIV transmission behaviors among HIV-positive drug users. He has taught a variety of courses including research design, advanced statistics, and human sexuality. He received a career achievement award from the National Hispanic Science Network in 2014.

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