Gift Title: The Mueller Health Foundation Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Research Initiative: “Building on the Momentum”

In Collaboration with:
Gil Alterovitz, PhD
Biomedical Cybernetics Laboratory
Computational Health Informatics Program (CHIP), Boston Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

Lixin Zhang, PhD
Chinese Academy of Sciences

Gift Overview:
We are now facing a worsening global crisis. Tuberculosis (TB) kills up to two million people every year and appears in every country. Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) are on the rise. Furthermore, mortality from antibiotic-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is estimated at 15 percent, rising to 30 percent for individuals co-infected with HIV.

The problem is not a lack of effort. Despite heroic attempts, modern medicine has so far failed to eradicate the disease mainly because Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis), the major cause of infections, is rapidly evolving new mechanisms of drug resistance.

Uniting top scientists and thinkers on four continents, Gil Alterovitz, PhD, at Boston Children’s Hospital is using a combination of predictive computer modeling and screening to identify a host of compound leads and their combinations to enable more effective, affordable and accessible treatment regimens for drug resistant TB. He is collaborating with the Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which aims to target TB and other drug resistant infectious diseases.

The Mueller Health Foundation’s gifts over the last few years have laid the foundation for Dr. Alterovitz’s remarkable effort, based on a unique strategy of international collaboration, cutting-edge technology and clear-minded research. By studying specific intrinsically disoriented regions of tuberculosis proteins, the main goal of the Mueller Health Foundation Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Research Initiative is to identify novel, effective and affordable treatment regimens for drug-resistant Tuberculosis with substantially improved side effect profiles and treatment durations.