The Medical College of Wisconsin will receive $1.9 million over the next five years from the national Institutes of Health to study how genetics affect Tuberculosis resistance.
The research will focus on how a specific human gene regulates immune responses, including tuberculosis resistance. Tuberculosis is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis and is considered one of the world’s deadliest diseases. More than 9.5 million people in the United States were infected in 2015 and it’s estimated one third of the global population is infected.
“At the end of our study, we hope to have increased our basic understanding of the genetics of the immune system in the context of TB, as well as generated unique proteins with potential use as additional TB treatments,” said Dr. Richard Robinson, principal investigator of the research project. “Since this specific gene’s influence extends beyond TB to also include autoimmunity, cancer and atopic disease, the mechanisms we identify are relevant to these other human diseases.”
Robinson is an assistant professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at MCW.