School of Medicine

Department of Pediatrics

Tuberculosis, a model for Translational Research


Augusto C. Ochoa, MD, Principal Investigator
Carol Mason, MD
Juzar Ali, MD
Arnold Zea, PhD

Tuberculosis and other chronic diseases such as cancer, affect the population of Louisiana to a greater extent than other states. Decreasing the incidence and improving the treatment of these diseases requires the combined effort of scientists and clinicians using new biological, molecular and epidemiological tools to study these complex diseases. The proposed center builds upon seminal findings of our researchers who discovered that tuberculosis and cancer use similar mechanisms to evade the immune system. Preventing or reversing this process could induce a protective immune response useful in the treatment of both diseases. The goal of the team of senior investigators and emerging faculty from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Tulane University Medical Center and the joint General Clinical Research Center, is to expand our understanding of this phenomenon in tuberculosis as a means to develop new therapies that reverse these escape mechanisms, and are applicable in tuberculosis and cancer. The Board of Regents support will advance the development of our initial findings. The novelty of these observations and the proven track record of the scientific team, will further expand funding from federal agencies through hypothesis driven grants, and will provide the basis for translational research to develop and test new therapies with the local and national biotechnology industry. An external board of well recognized national and international advisers will provide a continuous evaluation of the results obtained and help identify new directions for the Center.

Sponsor: Board of Regents
Duration: 01/01 - 12/06