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Case Western Reserve University Tuberculosis Research Unit
  Integrating research to combat the global TB epidemic
 
 

Scientific Working Groups


The Scientific Working Groups (SWGs) bring together investigators from domestic and international sites across studies and disciplines to provide the intellectual and scientific framework to make informed decisions regarding TBRU scientific objectives and study design. They also provide a forum to review and discuss results of studies in progess.

Four SWGs provide scientific direction for TBRU activities:

  1. Immunology Working Group
  2. Genetics Working Group
  3. Surrogate Markers of Response to TB Therapy Working Group
  4. MTB Strains Working Group


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Immunology Working Group (IWG)

General Objective: To bring together expertise in immunology across sites and studies for TBRU's research agenda

Specific Objectives:

  1. To determine the standard assay(s) of immune function to be applied across all TBRU studies
  2. To determine the specific assays of immune function that optimally address each study's hypotheses and objectives
  3. To regularly evaluate current concepts in immunology to develop and implement assays suitable for addressing new hypotheses in the context of the TBRU field sites and clinical studies; this objective will be greatly facilitated by the availability of specimens (PBMC, serum, urine), cryo-preserved using rigorously standardized methodology, from well characterized subjects
  4. To review results and progress of TBRU's immune function studies
  5. To promote development of immune assays for ready use in field studies and clinical trials in TB endemic settings

Working Group Leaders:

  • Daniel Hoft, M.D.
  • David Lewinsohn, M.D., Ph.D.

Members:

  • W. Henry Boom, M.D.
  • David Canaday, M.D.
  • Willem Hanekom, M.B.Ch.B.
  • Gilla Kaplan, Ph.D.
  • Deborah Lewinsohn, M.D.
  • Harriet Mayanja. M.B.Ch.B., M.Med, M.S.
  • Richard Silver, M.D.
  • Robert Wallis, M.D.


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Genetics Working Group (GWG)

General Objective: To bring together expertise in human genetics across sites and studies for TBRU's research agenda

Specific Objectives:

  1. To summarize the genotyping assays that will be common between studies
  2. To describe the statistical strategies common to both studies
  3. To regularly review novel genetic assays and results of analyses

Working Group Leaders:

  • Thomas Hawn, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Catherine Stein, Ph.D.

Members:

  • W. Henry Boom, M.D.


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Surrogate Markers of Response to TB Therapy Working Group (SMWG)

General Objective: To bring together expertise in surrogate markers of response to TB drug treatment across sites and studies for TBRU's research agenda

Specific Objectives:

  1. To determine the priority of assay testing on clinical specimens collected in TB drug treatment trials
  2. To review and correlate results of host and microbial parameters tested with the standard microbiologic assessments in drug trials (2 month sputum conversion; time to sputum culture conversion)
  3. To integrate new microbial data (proteins, lipids) with measurements of host response
  4. To facilitate communications among those investigating new targets and those developing new technologies for detecting targets
  5. To stay abreast of new developments in the TB research community that could be applied to the identification and evaluation of new surrogate markers

Working Group Leaders:

  • Gilla Kaplan, Ph.D.
  • Kathleen Eisenach, Ph.D.

Members:

  • Charles Bark, M.D.
  • W. Henry Boom, M.D.
  • John T. Belisle, Ph.D.
  • Sara Debanne, Ph.D.
  • Karen Dobos, Ph.D.
  • John L. Johnson, M.D.
  • Moses Joloba, M.B.Ch.B., Ph.D.
  • Robert Wallis, M.D.
  • Gerhard Walzl, M.B.Ch.B, Ph.D.


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MTB Strains Working Group (MWG)

General Objective: To determine the role of MTB genetic diversity as a covariate for study outcomes in the TBRU's research agenda

Specific Objectives:

  1. To determine the standard MTB strain genotyping approaches and techniques to be applied in Kampala and Cape Town
  2. To determine the specific MTB strain genotyping approaches and techniques that best address each study's hypotheses and objective
  3. To determine the MTB genetic population structure in Kampala and Cape Town
  4. To study MTB lineage/family/strain-specific effects on study outcome where appropriate

Working Group Leaders:

  • Moses Joloba, M.B.Ch.B., Ph.D.
  • Sebastien Gagneux, Ph.D.

Members:

  • W. Henry Boom, M.D.
  • John T. Belisle, Ph.D.
  • Sara Debanne, Ph.D.
  • Kathy Eisenach, Ph.D.
  • Gilla Kaplan, Ph.D.
  • Ezekiel Mupere, M.B.Ch.B, M.Med