November 2011

Targeting tuberculosis

Natasha Nesbitt (State University of New York, Stony Brook) will present a lecture titled “Cholesterol Metabolism in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis: Chewing through the Fat.” She will describe her work with Nicole Sampson on cholesterol utilization in M. tuberculosis, which is important because, in the intracellular environment of the host, M. tuberculosis shifts from a carbohydrate-based metabolism to a lipid-based metabolism. Moreover, it can utilize cholesterol as its sole carbon source in culture.

Biochemical mediators of the host-pathogen interaction 

The second session, chaired by Clifton E. Barry III (National Institutes of Health), will feature a lecture from Carolyn Bertozzi (University of California at Berkeley) titled “Chemical Approaches for Probing Mycobacterial Metabolites.” Bertozzi will describe her lab’s chemistry-driven approach to understanding microbial metabolism and adaptation of that metabolism to the host environment.

Sonia Flores (University of Colorado Denver) will give a talk titled “Vitamin D-Dependent Innate Antibacterial Responses on Tuberculous and Non-tuberculous Mycobacteria.”

The session will end with a lecture from Mary Jackson (Colorado State University-Fort Collins) titled “Biogenesis of Mycobacterial Cell Envelope Glycoconjugates,” in which she will elaborate on her lab’s longstanding interest in the biogenesis of one class of the most important mediators of the host-pathogen relationship.

Relationship of host and pathogen 

The final session will be chaired by Jackson and will feature a lecture from Barry. In “Molecular Mechanisms of the Evolution of Drug Resistance in TB,” Barry will describe his lab’s attempts to understand the molecular evolution of resistance and subsequent fitness adaptations in highly drug-resistant clinical isolates.

Miriam Braunstein (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine) will deliver a lecture titled “Protein Export via the Accessory Sec System of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.” She will describe her lab’s elaboration of the mechanisms of protein secretion developed by M. tuberculosis to enable survival in the macrophage phagosome.

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