Volunteer for NIAID-funded clinical studies related to tuberculosis on ClinicalTrials.gov.
NIAID-supported TB researcher Associate Professor Anne Lenaerts, Ph.D., Colorado State University, was selected to represent TB research on World TB Day, March 24, 2010, an honor bestowed on only three people in the world. Coordinated by the World Health Organization and the Stop TB Partnership, World TB Day is designed to encourage public awareness of the need to find treatments for TB, develop funding for research and find new ways to work together globally for a cure. This year’s theme, innovation, speaks to the achievements of the honorees who have found new ways to stop TB and have introduced a variety of innovations in a variety of settings.
She started her career as a molecular biologist hoping to find a cure for cancer, but switched focus after witnessing firsthand the ravages of devastation of TB during a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.
Funded by the NIAID at the university’s Mycobacteria Research Laboratories, Lenaerts’ work is described by the Stop TB Partnership as being “at the epicenter of the search for new TB drugs.” With the rise in multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB), the extensively drug resistant strains of TB (XDR TB), new strategies are desperately needed to eliminate TB and NIAID is leading and sponsoring research activities to discover and develop new diagnostics, drugs, and vaccines.
Dr. Lenaerts has developed a number of laboratory tests and systems to improve and accelerate the testing of TB drugs. These technologies are used by laboratories around the globe. “People from all over the world send us compounds they think might have activity against TB. So far the NIH program has received and tested more than 100,000 compounds,” she says. “When we find a compound that is promising, we give our data to suppliers—most of them pharmaceutical companies or university teams—so we can look together at how to improve those compounds.” Two compounds the program helped develop are now in clinical trials.
For more information, visit Stop TB Partnership.
Last Updated May 13, 2010
Last Reviewed May 13, 2010