Antimicrobial textiles company PurThread Technologies, which makes linens, curtains and scrubs that reduce the chance that bacteria can grow and spread in hospitals, has a new chief executive officer.

Lisa Grimes, formerly CEO of contract research organization InSite Clinical Trials, has taken over as PurThread’s top executive, the Durham-based startup announced early Tuesday.

“The antimicrobial textile field is rapidly becoming an integral part of the life sciences industry, so it’s certainly an exciting time to be joining the PurThread team,” said Grimes in a statement. “I’m thrilled to be a part of a company that shares my passion for a continued commitment to innovation and safety within the healthcare environment.”

Grimes is a graduate of the School of Pharmacy at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Before joining InSite, Grimes was an executive at Pharmaceutical Product Development, serving as vice president of business development. She also was part of Campbell Alliance for 10 years as a member as its Executive Advisory Group. Twice Grimes served as CEO at ofher life science firms, AcSentient and Angiomics.

PurThread is expanding its product lines, having recently began selling shirts that incorporate antimicrobial technology to fight bacteria and odor.

PurThread also added Dr. Tom Inglesby, CEO of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for Health Security to its board of directors. 

“As the threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria continues to grow around the world, there is a need for strategies and interventions that will make a difference,” Inglesby said. “I’m excited to support PurThread’s long-term mission to develop products aimed directly at diminishing the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the patient environment.”

Inglesby is widely published in areas of public health preparedness, pandemic flu and epidemic planning, and biosecurity.

PurThread recently received recognition for the contributions of its technology, winning a 2013 American Technology Award from the TechAmerica Foundation. The awards recognize companies throughout the world with new and innovative technologies.

PurThread’s win was in the category for Advanced or Technology Manufacturing. It recognizes products or services that integrate technology in the manufacturing process. PurThread developed a way to embed antimicrobial properties into raw textile materials before the fabric is spun into yarn and woven into textiles. That process ensures the effects of the PurThread active ingredient won’t wash off or wear out over time.