NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Boston Medical Center plans to use a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study and identify biomarkers for the bacterium that causes tuberculosis and will study reactions to TB in the human genome.
Funded under the NIH's International Collaborations in Infectious Disease Research (ICIDR) program, the five-year grant will fund studies aimed at identifying biomarkers for Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and at examining the changes in the expression of the biomarkers based on the time of infection, diagnosis, and treatment.
The research will be conducted in Brazil and will look at populations that are at high risk for exposure to the TB bacterium, such as healthcare workers and people living with someone who already has TB. The studies also will try to learn why some people are immune to TB and others are susceptible to infection.
"TB continues to be a major global health concern, killing nearly two million people each year," Jerrold Ellner, chief of the section of infectious diseases at BMC, a professor at Boston University School of Medicine, and principal investigator on the project, said in a statement. "By examining the characterizing individuals at high risk of TB, the new biomarkers will lead to novel treatments and vaccines to prevent the disease."