Shouxiong Huang, Ph.D.

Institution: University of Cincinnati

Project: Finding a New TB Vaccine

Grant(s): Innovation Award

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infects one-third of the world's population. Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis is present in virtually all countries, leading to an increased risk of failed antibiotic treatment. Development of novel TB vaccines is a global priority to fight tuberculosis. Although the licensed vaccine Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) has saved many children's lives, its protection against tuberculosis is insufficient. Previous vaccine development mainly focused on conventional T cells such as peptide-stimulated lymphocytes. We will target an unconventional T cell population, called mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells, which rapidly responds to other bacterial metabolites in early infection. We will determine mycobacterial metabolites for MAIT cell activation to facilitate the development of new TB vaccines.

Update:

In the first year of the project, we made significant progress in discoveries of novel metabolite molecules for inducing rapid anti-mycobacterial MAIT cell responses. We identified multiple candidate metabolites to activate MAIT cells. We will complete the structural and functional characterization of M. tuberculosis metabolites to induce anti-mycobacterial MAIT cell responses in year two to provide candidate targets for immune protection.

Freedom From Smoking Clinic
Toms River, NJ | Dec 07, 2020