On February 4, 2013, Dr. William R. Jacobs, Jr., was awarded the seventh annual Marshall S. Horwitz, M.D. Faculty Prize for Research Excellence. Dr. Jacobs delivered his prize lecture, "Unmasking the Houdini Traits of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Persistence in the Presence of Drugs and Immune Effectors," to an enthusiastic audience in Robbins Auditorium.
Tuberculosis is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). It ranks second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest worldwide killer caused by as single infectious agent. According to the World Health Organization, 1.4 million people died from tuberculosis in 2011.
MTB infects people through inhalation; it can persist as a latent infection for decades, causing serious illness or death when MTB starts to multiply and the infection reactivates. Dr. Jacobs aptly compared MTB to the master escape artist Harry Houdini. Despite the availability of several drugs that can kill it, MTB has managed death-defying acts that complicate efforts to treat those infected. Its notorious ability to mutate into drug-resistant strains poses a major global health problem.
Considering its deceptive nature, it's appropriate that the scientist dubbed the "TB Terminator" by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is tackling MTB. In his talk, Dr. Jacobs described his team's strategy in confronting MTB—particularly those MTB strains that are proving resistant to most of the standard anti-TB drugs. Working in a lab that overlooks a former TB sanatorium, he and his colleagues are developing vaccines to prevent disease, diagnostic tools to detect it, and drugs to treat infection.
As part of those efforts, his team is systematically knocking out every MTB gene to find genes that are vital for MTB's survival and therefore might be good targets for drugs aimed at killing the microbe. His lab's diagnostic work focuses on rapidly detecting small numbers of MTB in clinical sputum samples and pinpointing the drugs to which they're susceptible.
The Horwitz Prize was established at Einstein in memory of beloved Einstein faculty and renowned scientist Dr. Marshall S. Horwitz, who passed away in 2005.
Making Flavorful Cacio e Pepe and a Case for Evolutionary Modeling
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Einstein Reports on Competency Based Admissions
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
IDDRC Rapin Conference
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Dr. Brian Currie Announces Retirement
Friday, January 22, 2016
Einstein Is Apt Venue for Off-Broadway Show
Friday, January 15, 2016
Einstein's Freezer Program Offers Researchers Quick and Easy Access to Lab Reagents
Monday, January 04, 2016
Fourth Annual Musculoskeletal Repair and Regeneration Symposium
Monday, December 28, 2015
CHAM.org: Redesigned Website Offers Vital Information
Monday, December 28, 2015
UJA-Federation Honors Drs. Judy and Michael Aschner
Thursday, December 24, 2015
Two Einstein Faculty Members Named 2015 AAAS Fellows
Wednesday, December 23, 2015