"The Cause for a Cure for Crohn's Disease"
PARA's Scientific Advisory Council
|Dr. John T. Belisle.
College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO
Dr. Belisle: "My research focuses on two areas of mycobacterial genetics and physiology. (1) The cellular envelope of Mycobacterium spp. is comprised of several unique glycolipids, polysaccharides and long chain fatty acids. We are currently working to identify the genes encoding the biosynthesis of these structures so that their roles in pathogenesis can be evaluated and to provide tools for the rational design of new antimycobacterial drugs. This work is being conducted in collaboration with Drs. Patrick Brennan, Julie Inamine, Gurdyal Besra, Delphi Chatterjee and Mike McNeil. (2) Protein antigens of M. tuberculosis are the primary target of the protective immune response against this organism and the contributions of these molecules to pathogenesis are now being realized. We are currently focusing our efforts on defining unique glycoproteins of M. tuberculosis and the implication of these post-translational modifications on immunogenicity and bacterial physiology. Additionally, unique proteins present only in clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis are being evaluated for their immunological characteristics and physiological function."