Tuberculosis bacteria produce cough-triggering molecule
The bacteria that cause the deadly lung disease tuberculosis appear to facilitate their own spread by producing a molecule that triggers cough, a new study led by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers shows. The findings, published online today, in Cell, could lead to new ways to prevent the spread of tuberculosis, which is responsible for the death of more than 1.5 million people per year worldwide.
People have known since ancient times that coughing is a primary symptom of tuberculosis and that cough allows for the spread of disease from person to person. However, the cause of tuberculosis-related coughs has been unclear says study leader Michael Shiloh, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor in UTSW’s Department of Internal Medicine’s Division of Infectious Disease and Department of Microbiology. The prevailing hypothesis has been that coughing is triggered by infection-induced lung irritation and inflammation, but this has never been definitively proved.
Shiloh and his colleagues had a different idea: They speculated that the bacterial agent that causes tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, itself might produce a substance that triggers nerves in the airway responsible for causing someone with the disease to cough, thereby allowing for propagation of disease.
Drs. Levine and Shiloh to lead NIH-funded program
Amid growing concern about pathogens becoming more drug-resistant worldwide – and emerging new pathogens that have no current treatment – UT Southwestern has been selected to lead a five-year investigation into a promising new approach for controlling infections funded by a grant of up to $37 million.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded program will be headed by Dr. Beth Levine, Director of UT Southwestern’s Center for Autophagy Research and a Professor of Internal Medicine and Microbiology. She will serve as Program Director over five separate research projects at UT Southwestern and across the country – all focused on the potential to exploit a cellular process known as autophagy to destroy invading bacteria and viruses.
“During autophagy, the target to be destroyed is encased in a double-membrane compartment inside the cell called an autophagosome, which then merges with other compartments containing enzymes and acids to degrade the target,” said Dr. Michael Shiloh, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Microbiology, who will assist Dr. Levine as the program’s Associate Director.
A role for Smurf1 in Mtb infection
Congratulations Luis Franco and the rest of the team for his publication in Cell Host & Microbe demonstrating an important role for the host protein Smurf1 in Mtb pathogenesis. This work was highlighted in the UTSW Center Times and other news outlets.Center Times Article
A role for M cells in Mtb pathogenesis
Congratulations to Vidhya Nair and everyone who participated in this project. After years of hard work and perseverance, Vidhya's paper showing a functional role for M cells in Mtb pathogenesis was published in Cell Reports. It was also highlighted in the UTSW news section, as well as many other news articles.UTSW News Article
NIH Fellowship Awards
Congratulations to 3 members of the Shiloh Lab for their selection to prestigious NIH fellowships in 2016. These awards are a testament to their hard work and determination.
Haaris Khan was selected for the Immunology Training Grant Pre-doctoral NIH T32
Breanna Pasko was selected for the Molecular Microbiology Training Grant Pre-doctoral NIH T32
Caitlyn Scharn was selected for the Infectious Diseases Training Grant Post-doctoral NIH T32
A role for cGAS in tuberculosis infection
In a collaboration between the Shiloh Lab and the Chen Lab at UTSW, we found that the enzyme cGAS is vital for detection of intracellular M. tuberculosis. Importantly, cGAS was first discovered by the Chen Lab in 2012. The key findings of the new paper are that cGAS is found in human tuberculosis lesions and cGAS is induced by M. tuberculosis infection. cGAS is essential for activating macrophages to produce interferons and activate autophagy, and cGAS deficient macrophages and mice are more susceptible to tuberculosis.News Release from UTSW
Debbie wins the Seldin Award
Debbie Solomon, ID Division grants specialist and our lab administrator received the Donald Seldin Award for the most outstanding administrator in Internal Medicine. This award is given to only one administrator every year, and is the highest honor for an administrator in our Department. Debbie makes our lab function, and she is amazing at managing complex grants! Congratulations Debbie!
Vineetha graduates with her PhD
Congratulations to Vineetha Zacharia, PhD, on her graduation from UT Southwestern Graduate School. Vineetha is off to UC Berkeley for a post-doc. We wish her all the best in her career.
Chelsea wins two awards
Congratulations to Chelsea for recently winning two awards. First, is the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) Scholarship. Chelsea is one of 4 UTSW awardees out of 85 total recipients! This is quite a prestigious award, recognizing outstanding women in graduate school.
Chelsea also received a Young Investigator Award from the International Graduate Student Immunology Conference. Congratulations!
Congratulations Chelsea and Caitlyn
Congratulations to both Chelsea Stamm (Phd student) and Caitlyn Scharn (Post-doc) on their selection to be supported by the highly competitive NIH T32 training grants in Molecular Microbiology (Chelsea) and Immunology (Caitlyn).
Welcome new post-doc Caitlyn Scharn to the lab
The Shiloh Lab warmly welcomes Dr. Caitlyn Scharn to the lab. Caitlyn graduated from Creighton University with a PhD in Microbiology, with a thesis titled " Movement and Stability of the Staphylococcal Cassette Chromosome mec among Staphylococcus aureus." Caitlyn aims to leverage her extensive background in bacterial genetics to questions of M. tuberculosis pathogenesis.
Shiloh Lab November News
Congratulations to Vineetha on the publication of her first author paper in mBio describing Cor, a novel CO resistance gene from M. tuberculosis.Vineetha's paper
Working together with Paolo Manzanillo and Jeffery Cox at UCSF, Angela Collins and Dr. Shiloh demonstrate that the ubiquitin ligase parkin is expressed in human tuberculosis lesions and that parkin colocalizes with Mtb in infected tissues. This was published as an article in Nature.Article in Nature
Collins Travel Award
Congratulations to Angela Collins on being selected for a travel award and oral presentation at the American Association of Immunology meeting, May 2013.
NSF Graduate Student Fellowship
Chelsea Stamm received honorable mention for her application to the highly competitive National Science Foundation graduate student fellowship.
Metroplex Day - Vidhya Nair
Congratulations to Vidhya Nair on receiving best poster in Translational Medicine at the 7th Annual UT Metroplex Day, March 2013.
Gordon Conference Poster
Congratulations to Vineetha Zacharia on receiving a poster award at the 2013 Gordon Conference on Nitric Oxide, February 2013.