- International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, ISAC Fellow, 2019
- ISC Hamao Umezawa Memorial Award, 2017
- Monmouth College Hall of Achievement Award, 2015
- CLSI Excellence in Standards Development Award, 2015
- ICAAC Lecturer, 2014
- Editor, mBio, 2010-2019
- E. P. Abraham Award for β-Lactamase Research, 2007
- Fellow of American Academy of Microbiology, 2000
- Editor Antimicrobial Agents & Chemotherapy, 1994-2004
Following postdoctoral work, Dr. Bush spent 35 years in the pharmaceutical industry where she began studying beta-lactamases, enzymes in pathogenic bacteria that cause resistance to penicillins and other beta-lactam antibiotics. Her scientific teams identified and/or developed the marketed antibiotics aztreonam (Azactam®), piperacillin-tazobactam (Zosyn®), levofloxacin (Levaquin®), doripenem (Doribax®), and ceftobiprole (Zeftera®). She also worked with medicinal chemistry teams to discover six novel agents that entered human clinical trials. Her research focused on the mechanism of action of penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) and beta-lactamases. She has authored multiple publications describing the classification of these enzymes.
After returning to IU in 2009, she joined the Biotechnology program and established a laboratory to characterize beta-lactam resistance mechanisms in central Indiana healthcare facilities, in collaboration with the IU School of Medicine Pathology Laboratory. Her IU lab has conducted contract research for pharmaceutical companies to characterize the antibacterial activity of new investigational drugs against these resistant bacteria. Six of the agents, ceftolozane-tazobactam, ceftazidime-avibactam, plazomicin, eravacycline, imipenem-relebactam, and cefiderocol have gained FDA approval.