Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis is becoming more of a concern worldwide. In the Front Range region of Colorado there is a great deal of expertise in tuberculosis. This ranges from clinicians, epidemiologists, clinical laboratorians and clinical trialists to academic basic scientists. CSU has many world renowned scientists studying such things as cell wall biosynthesis of mycobacteria to medicinal chemists who design and develop new drugs for potential treatment of tuberculosis to microarray analysis and biomarker identification. There are a number of NIH funded contracts based here at CSU which provide reagents and services to investigators around the world. Please see www.mrl.colostate.edu for further information. New drug treatments offer hope for patients with drug resistant TB and CSU has a number of investigators studying new drugs in animals to discover how effective they are and how to use them with other companion drugs that are or will be used in humans. A large vaccine project is discovering and testing new vaccines in animals that may one day be tried in humans to prevent and maybe even treat tuberculosis, including the drug resistant variety. In order to spawn collaborative efforts between researcher in the area a whole day symposium was held August 2nd entitled "Colorado Responds to MDR-TB: A Meeting To Foster Collaborative Research on the Front Range," sponsored by Colorado State University, the Colorado Center for AIDS Research, Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, and National Jewish Medical and Research Center.
The group discussed collaborative opportunities for research on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Speakers and participants included experts from Colorado State University, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver Health, University of Colorado at Boulder and Front Range area biotech firms. The day began with a keynote address by Dr. Michael Iseman of the National Jewish Medical and Research Center who gave an overview of the immense problem of drug resistant tuberculosis.
Those presenting from Colorado State University included Dr. Dean Crick, an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology (MIP). Dr. Crick presented, "Therapeutics: Targets for Early Drug Discovery," presenting his work on new targets for TB drug discovery and giving some examples of his scientific approach toward targeting specific pathways in cell wall lipid synthesis.
Dr. Anne J. Lenaerts, an Assistant Professor in MIP, presented, "Preclinical Testing of Experimental Compounds against M. tuberculosis," an overview of preclinical testing at Colorado State University.
Dr. Ian Orme, Professor with MIP, presented "Potential for Vaccination against Drug-Resistant TB," discussing the data on the virulence of various multi-drug resistant strains of tuberculosis in laboratory animal models and potential for new vaccinations against MDR-TB.
Small group break out sessions in the area of rapid diagnostics, vaccines, biomarkers, pharmacokinetics, and preclinical drug discover occurred. During these sessions, specific areas of collaborative efforts were identified and an outline of future plans was presented back to the group. The group will have follow up over the next months to see how things are progressing and plan to make this an annual event.
Dr. Patrick Brennan, University Distinguished Professor in MIP offered a historical perspective on TB research in Colorado and his concluding remarks dealt with identification of joint research programs and funding opportunities and Dr. Brennan challenged all of the participants to use this fruitful meeting as a starting point for future productive endeavors.
|MIP Newsletter Volume 4, Issue 8, Page 2, August 2007||MIP Home CVMBS Home CSU Home|