Larry Schlesinger (Texas Biomedical) presents “Challenges in tuberculosis therapy: from basic science to a new host-directed therapeutic approach” on Friday, March 6th, 2020 at 3:30 p.m. in Anderson Hall 329.
Studies in the Schlesinger lab focus on the biology of lung alveolar space macrophages (AMs) and their interaction with human-adapted airborne pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb). His work includes macrophage phagocytosis and signaling, surfactant biology, in vitro granuloma models and functional genomics to assess macrophage heterogeneity. Lab discoveries have led to greater insight into how the human lung innate immune system impacts tuberculosis infection, translating mechanisms found into new host-directed therapy (HDT) platforms. M.tb caused 1.4 million deaths in 2018 and continues to be a worldwide threat. Upon inhalation, M.tb infects AMs which exert tightly regulated immune responses and are unable to efficiently clear M.tb. AMs highly express peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)g, a global transcriptional regulator associated with anti-inflammatory actions. We have found that M.tb infection induces PPARg and this is important for M.tb growth. Dr. Schlesinger will discuss newly found PPARg effectors, such as anti-apoptotic Mcl-1, which can serve as a potential HDT target for M.tb infection.