Safe and Protected — Dr. William Jacobs, Jr. has been awarded a $6 million grant over five years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop a novel vaccine for tuberculosis (TB), a bacterial disease whose extensive drug resistance, along with socioeconomic realities, has stymied global control efforts. Using a genetically engineered strain of bacteria called IKEPLUS, which was shown to be safe and to stimulate an enhanced protective immune response in a mouse model, the researchers will evaluate the efficacy of IKEPLUS used both alone and in combination with the traditional BCG vaccine. Additionally, the laboratory will develop a manufacturing process for a human IKEPLUS vaccine and will establish biomarker assays to determine how well the vaccine protects against TB. This project represents a key effort to develop and optimize a promising vaccine for TB. Dr. Jacobs is professor of microbiology & immunology and of genetics at Einstein, and is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.
Esther Berko, an MSTP candidate conducting her graduate research in the laboratory of Dr. John Greally, recently was featured as an expert responding to a “Got Questions?” blog on the Autism Speaks website. Ms. Berko is an Autism Speaks Dennis Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellow.
Stellar Recognition — Dr. Michael Lipton was recently named Fellow of the American College of Radiology (ACR), a title bestowed on only 12 percent of active ACR members. The honor recognizes those who have made exceptional contributions to teaching or research in radiology. Dr. Lipton is associate professor of radiology, of psychiatry & behavioral sciences, and of neuroscience, as well as associate director of the Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center.