Dr. David Russell featured on Cornell Research
“Tuberculosis is the single largest infectious disease killer in the world,” says David G. Russell, Microbiology and Immunology. “It’s a huge problem in Southern Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. There’s a tremendous underappreciation in the Western world for how big a problem it really is.”
Russell studies infectious diseases, and a large portion of his work revolves around tuberculosis (TB). There is no vaccine for the disease. Researchers lack understanding of immune correlates, or measurable signs of protection from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) bacterium, which is one reason why a vaccine continues to elude them. “We don’t understand what immune protection from TB is,” Russell says, “nor what failure of immune protection is.” He and his collaborators decided to start over in the pursuit of a vaccine by looking at the factors that determine the progression of the disease.
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by Jackie Swift