Sarah Merritt Fortune, M.D.
|Title||Melvin J. and Geraldine L. Glimcher Assiocate Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases|
|Institution||Harvard School of Public Health|
|Department||Immunology and Infectious Diseases|
|Address||Harvard School of Public Health|
Bldg 1-Room 809, Immunology and Infectious Diseases
665 Huntington Ave
Boston MA 02115
Available: 09/01/13, Expires: 06/01/14
This is a medical research fellowship funded by the Doris Duke Clinical Foundation.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis remains an enormous global health problem. One of the challenges in controlling tuberculosis is the wide spectrum of disease that follows M. tuberculosis infection. It is estimated that over a third of the world’s population is latently infected with M. tuberculosis yet only 10% of these individuals will ever develop clinical disease. When disease occurs, it may be localized or metastatic, rapidly progressive or indolent. There are similarly variable outcomes in response to treatment. It is currently unclear to what extent the variable clinical outcomes reflect differences in the infected individuals’ ability to control the disease versus diversity in the bacterial responses during infection.
The Fortune lab seeks to define the mechanisms by which populations of M. tuberculosis generate functional diversity and determine how this diversification contributes to the variable course of clinical disease. We approach these questions using bacterial genetics, high throughput genomic and microfluidic based live cell imaging approaches. We have recently demonstrated that mycobacterial cells grow and divide asymmetrically. This pattern of asymmetric growth and division creates cells that are differentially susceptible to antibiotics. Current studies in the lab seek to define the molecular basis of asymmetric growth and division and the molecular basis of replicative fidelity.
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