Welcome to the Penn Lab. We study Tuberculosis.
M. tuberculosis (Mtb) currently infects one-third of the world’s population, causing a chronic, often lifelong, infection, and continues to kill millions of people each year. Mtb has the surprising ability to survive and grow within host macrophages, innate immune cells with potent antibacterial functions that normally eliminate engulfed microbes. Our main focus is to determine the molecular mechanisms by which Mtb disrupts host cell defenses, enabling it to replicate within macrophages. Pinpointing these pitfalls to an effective immune response may help identify pathways that could be therapeutically manipulated to augment vaccine efficacy or serve as adjuncts to traditional antibiotic therapy in the treatment of tuberculosis patients.