Exploring the role of a novel, polymorphic protein family in M. tuberculosis pathogenesis

Sponsor: Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation

Location(s): United States


Dr. Ekiert is exploring the complex network of interactions between the host immune system and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the pathogen that causes tuberculosis (TB) in humans. In order to survive and replicate inside host cells, M. tuberculosis must evade detection by the immune system and interfere with multiple antimicrobial pathways that would otherwise lead to the destruction of the bacteria. Investigating the interactions between M. tuberculosis and host factors may uncover new therapeutic targets for the treatment of TB infection.  Moreover, understanding how pathogens escape immune recognition may shed light on how cancerous cells evade detection by similar tissue surveillance mechanisms.