An epidemic of multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacterial infections plagues US and global health care, and with few new drugs making it to market from an improving but still diminished pipeline, there is an unmet medical need for new therapeutics to treat clinically important high-threat multidrug-resistant infections. High-threat agents comprise Gram negative (GN) and Gram positive (GP) ESKAPE pathogens including Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), MRSA and multidrug- and extremely drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis and nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM). Our CETR hypothesis postulates that an enterprise-style Center comprised of world-class academic and biopharma investigators with innovative and well-established drug discovery platforms focused on clinically validated and novel targets, promising Leads, and innovative approaches for new compound discovery will serve as an engine to develop selected optimized Leads and Preclinical Development Candidates (PDCs) against high-threat MDR GP and GN bacteria. We propose to: target clinically-successful bacterial targets by exploring novel classes of compounds against RNA polymerase and separately use drug 'repositioning' as a novel high-probability-to-succeed drug discovery strategy against NTMs; characterize novel compounds against key enzymes of mycolic acid biosynthesis in M. tuberculosis; and exploit untapped environmentally-derived novel peptidic compound libraries as a rich source for new antibiotics. Our approach builds upon and refines our current successful CETR model. Critical factors for success include the enterprise-style approach to drug discovery/development, the strength of Project Leaders with robust drug discovery programs and partnerships with biopharma, a highly integrated matrix of mature drug discovery support cores with experienced Core directors, strong central leadership, and outstanding infrastructure with the Rutgers Regional Biocontainment Lab. Collectively, these components comprise a CETR enterprise that will streamline the discovery and advancement of compounds through the optimization process toward PDCs by facilitating critical "go, no-go" decisions. The overall program will be guided by an accomplished researcher, administrator, and current CETR leader in drug discovery, a Scientific Advisory Committee well versed in drug development, and a solid operations and management team that is experienced in large translational research programs resulting in IP and licensing to develop clinical products.