Centre for Tuberculosis Research

CTBR in the news

  • Melissa Richard-Greenblatt, a Ph.D. student in Dr. Yossef Av-Gay`s lab, who was awarded the Constance Livingstone-Friedman and Sydney Friedman Foundation Scholarship to travel to South Africa for 10 months to study the disease from a clinical perspective started a fundraising campaign to provide books, magazines and games to TB patients at the Church of Scotland Hospital in Tugela Ferry, South Africa. Contributing to the potential emotional needs of patients can speed up recovery, improve patient care, and ultimately reduce healthcare costs. Yet, the length of hospitalization affects patient morale. Most patients are too poor to receive frequent visits and own such personal items. Melissa's fundraising site can be reached here.
  • CTBR researcher Jennifer Gardy from the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control was appointed to the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine's Forum on Microbial Threats, an advisory council in Washington, D.C.
  • CTBR researcher Jennifer Gardy from the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and Greg Poland from the Mayo Clinic are the keynote speakers at the 2014 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology Annual Conference in Anaheim, CA.. more.../
  • CTBR researcher Israel Casabon has been invited to speak at the Keystone Symposium on Novel Therapeutic Approaches to Tuberculosis, Keystone, Colorado. Casabon's research unveils how the specific parts of the cholesterol molecule are broken down by various enzymes allowing the TB bacterium to feed on cholesterol. The step by step elucidation of the biochemical pathway used by TB has led Casabon to identify the enzymes which present the most potential as targets for the development of a novel drug.
  • CTBR researcher Israel Casabon wins 1st prize at the Life Sciences Centre-Graduate Student Association poster competition for postdoctoral fellows. more.../
  • CTBR researcher Jennifer Gardy chaired the TB Genomics symposium at the 2013 Union World Conference in Paris. She is also a participant in the first pilot study of the use of whole genome sequencing for clinical tuberculosis diagnosis.
  • Melissa Richard-Greenblatt, a Ph.D. student in Dr. Yossef Av-Gay`s lab, has been awarded the Constance Livingstone-Friedman and Syndney Friedman Foundation Scholarship. This scholarship enables Melissa to continue her research on the role of ergothioneine in TB at the Kwazulu-Natal Research Institute for TB and HIV in Durban, South Africa. Under the supervision of Dr. Andries Steyn, she will gain new scientific knowledge and perspectives that will enable her to translate her findings for clinical applications as well as understand the impact of TB in South Africa.
  • Flavia Sorrentino, a postdoctoral fellow working in the research group led by Prof. Yossef Av-Gay joined Tres Cantos Open lab to perform a high-throughput screening to identify new small molecules that could eradicate tuberculosis as part of a two year grant.more...
  • Valérie Poirier was awarded the British Columbia Proteomics Network Travel Support to present her research results at the Human Proteome Organization (HUPO ) 12th Annual World Congress in Yokohama, Japan in September 2013, Japan. She presented her poster entitled 'Proteomic Analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection of Human Macrophages'.
  • CTBR researchers Lindsay Eltis and William Mohn examined similarities in the function of enzymes involved in PCB degradation and enzymes involved in TB. They found out that TB survives by degrading cholesterol for fuel to survive. The discovery offers the potential for an entirely new class of therapeutics—answering a critical need for new treatments to combat emerging drug resistant strains. Now that scientists know cholesterol is essential for the survival of TB, they can work to inhibit the enzymes that are responsible for cholesterol degradation. more...
  • A well-established family of drugs used to treat parasitic diseases is showing surprising potential as a therapy for tuberculosis (TB), according to new research from University of British Columbia microbiologists. The findings, published online this week in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, are based on in vitro tests of the avermectin family of drugs commonly used in the developing world to eliminate the parasitic worms that cause river blindness and elephantiasis but have been thought to be ineffective against bacterial diseases. more...
  • CTBR researchers Santiago Ramon-Garcia and Charles Thompson have found a synergistic combination of two known drugs (used for other therapeutic applications but never before to treat TB) capable of inhibiting Mtb growth, while neither of these drugs have any effect on their own against Mtb.more...
  • Podcast by CTBR Researcher Dr. Av-Gay about his recently published paper. more...
  • CTBR takes centre stage in Synergy: UBC Journal of Science. more...
  • Dr. Santiago Ramon is a Canadian Rising Star in Global Health more...
  • Researchers use Genomics to Investigate Outbreak in BC. more..
The Centre for Tuberculosis Research (CTBR) at UBC is dedicated to the development of novel therapeutics to curb the effects of the most devastating infectious agent of mortality worldwide, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). The Centre brings together researchers from the Faculty of Medicine (in the departments of Medicine, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) with colleagues from the Faculty of Science (in the department of Microbiology and Immunology). The creation of the Centre allows these researchers to collaborate with each other, build upon each other’s strengths, exchange ideas and data across disciplines and create a stimulating training environment for graduate students and postdocs. The development and optimization of novel anti-bacterials is facilitated through working with the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD).
Vision: To promote cutting-edge collaborative opportunities in the disciplines of microbiology, biochemistry, immunology and chemistry to better understand biological systems that can be used as targets for new drugs for tuberculosis chemotherapy.
Mission: 1. To understand the scientific basis of Mtb’s prevalence, including its inherent resistance to antibiotics and its unusual ability to persist in the host. 2. To develop and optimize novel anti-bacterials that target Mtb.
Selected current projects:
1. Identification of new potential drug combinations to overcome the intrinsic resistance of M. tuberculosis.
2. Identification of M. tuberculosis enzymes that degrade cholesterol - a major nutrient source during infection.
3. Characterization of M. tuberculosis signalling proteins that disrupt host function.

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