Integrating research to combat the global TB epidemic
"This is a very exciting time in the fight against TB as politicians, public health officials, researchers, donor agencies, and foundations worldwide refocus their attention on the pandemic caused by the age-old pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Multi-disciplinary research combining epidemiologic studies and clinical trials in TB endemic countries with modern microbiology, immunology, and genetics is essential to make progress in the fight against TB.
The NIH-funded Tuberculosis Research Unit (TBRU) is a leader in interdisciplinary TB research. The TBRU aims not only to understand how M. tuberculosis infects, persists, and causes disease in humans, but also to translate that understanding into improving prevention, vaccines, diagnostics, and drug treatment for TB."
- W. Henry Boom M.D., TBRU Director
The mission of the TBTC is to conduct programmatically relevant clinical, laboratory and epidemiologic research concerning the diagnosis, clinical management, and prevention of tuberculosis infection and disease.
Our laboratory's main interest is the development of cell-mediated immunity within the human lung. In particular, we are primarily investigating how pulmonary immune responses provide protection against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB).
Our studies involve collecting lung cells from healthy volunteers who have evidence of prior Mtb infection for use in laboratory studies of immune responses to Mtb. We also recruit healthy non-smokers without Mtb infection to serve as control subjects. Additional studies also involve the use of animal models of TB vaccination and infection, which are used to help confirm the significance of the findings from our studies of human subjects.
This Biosafety Level 3 facility is a state of the art animal facility located in the Animal Resource Center (ARC) at Case Western Reserve University. This facility runs in collaboration with the W. Henry Boom Lab, the Tuberculosis Research Unit (TBRU), and the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR).
We have 10+ years experience with MTB model infections and can perform many different types of analyses, including bacterial burden, flow cytometry staining (up to seven colors) and analysis, culture supernatants, PCR, and whole fixed organs harvested for pathology.