The Public Health Research Institute (PHRI) and other departments of the New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) have one of the largest and diverse programs in TB research in the U.S. with eleven independent labs focused on a broad range of critical issues ranging from fundamental questions of virulence and immunology to clinical studies of vaccine candidates and new drugs. The investigators have made major contributions to our understanding of the pathogenesis of TB, new therapies, and emerging vaccine options. The program includes clinical research sites for TB and HIV-AIDS in South Africa, China, Brazil, India and Newark. PHRI Principal Investigators have grant awards exceeding $5.4 million in the current fiscal year (FY13) from the National Institutes of heath (NH)IH, TB Global Alliance, Gates and several other foundations, and Pharma.
The TB program benefits from one of the most extensive biosafety level 3 (BSL3) programs for research with TB on the east coast of the U.S. It includes the UMDNJ Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL), one of thirteen NIH designated national centers for BSL3 pathogen studies. In the past 7 years, the RBL has amassed more than 600,000 animal days of TB infected animals (mice and rabbits) for pathogenicity, diagnostic and drug efficacy studies. Special resources include the Kreiswirth lab’s collection of over 31,000 molecularly-typed strains of TB from around the world, including a large collection of MDR and XDR strains.
The principal investigators include:
- Gilla Kaplan, PhD, Immunology and pathogenesis of TB
- Marila Gennaro, MD, TB antigens, serodiagnostics and systems biology
- Barry Kreiswirth, PhD, Molecular epidemiology of TB; drug resistance mechanisms and drug testing
- Veronique Dartois, PhD, Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of TB
- Issar Smith, PhD, TB Virulence mechanisms
- Gloria Marcela Rodriguez, PhD, Role of iron metabolism in TB virulence
- Richard Pine, PhD, Immunology of TB
- Yuri Bushkin, PhD, Immunology of TB
NJMS Center for Emerging Pathogens
- David Alland, MD, MDR-TB diagnostics and drug evaluation
- Padmini Salgame, PhD, Immunology of TB
- Nancy Connell, PhD, TB virulence mechanisms
- Joel Freundlich, PhD, Development and testing of novel anti-tubercular drugs