News & Highlights Archive

  • Dr. Cynthia Portal-Celhay and colleagues published a high-impact paper in Nature Microbiology, on a molecular mechanism used by Mycobacterium tuberculosis to inhibit MHC class II antigen presentation of mycobacterial proteins.  Dr. Portal-Celhay discovered that EsxH, a protein secreted by M. tuberculosis interacts with the host cell ESCRT system to decrease presentation of mycbacterial antigens to CD4 T cells.  A link to her paper is here:  http://www.nature.com/articles/nmicrobiol2016232.  The importance of Dr. Portal's discovery was emphasized in a commentary in the same journal, written by an eminent tuberculosis researcher: http://www.nature.com/articles/nmicrobiol2016234.  Nature Microbiology also invited Dr. Portal to contribute a personal reflection on her career path as a physician scientist and TB researcher: https://naturemicrobiologycommunity.nature.com/users/24403-cynthia-portal-celhay/posts/13820-the-route-towards-t-cell-activation-how-tb-and-i-crossed-paths
     
  • Two papers were recently published by Dr. Ellie Carmody and her colleagues, on hepatitis C in the 1945-1965 birth cohort targeted for screening by the Centers for Disease Control. In one of the papers, Dr. Carmody's group determined that the acceptability of hepatitis C screening in patients born between 1945 and 1965 depended on the patient's knowledge of hepatitis C, and that most agreed to testing. The other paper determined that 7.3% of 383 patients in this birth cohort tested in the Bellevue Hospital Emergency Department were HCV seropositive, and tracked their outcomes.  Although seropositive patients were provided follow up clinic appointments, the frequency of linkage to care was low. This was due primarily to difficulty in contacting patients to remind them of upcoming appointments after discharge from the Emergency Department, as most had unstable housing and lack of working telephones. The findings highlight the need to establish flexible, intensive outreach mechanisms to link HCV-infected patients to care so that they can obtain treatment. Dr. Waridibo Allison, a Fellow in the NYU Infectious Diseases Training Program, was first author of both papers.
     
  • A new publication by Sarah Hochman, M.D., and colleagues in the journal, mBio, provides new insight into the pathogenesis of cerebral malaria. In a study of children in Malawi, Dr. Hochman and her colleagues established that cerebral malaria is characterized by inflammatory infiltrates in the brain, and not only by erythrocyte sequestration. Her study also found that HIV-infected children were more susceptible to cerebral malaria, and that they had more severe brain inflammation and higher mortality than HIV-uninfected children with cerebral malaria. A link to Dr. Hochman’s paper is here. A review commentary that highlights the significance of Dr. Hochman’s findings is available here.
     
  • A new paper by Patricia Grace, PhD was highlighted as one of the top 10% of all papers published in the Journal of Immunology. The commentary is available here, and the paper is available here. In this paper, Drs. Grace and Ernst provide evidence that the ability of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to interfere with CD4 T cell activation clearly contributes to persistence of the infection and progression of TB.
     
  • A study by Richard Copin, Ph.D.Joel Ernst, M.D., and colleagues was featured in a Cell podcast, where Dr. Ernst was interviewed about the group’s recent report of discovering rare M. tuberculosis T cell antigens that exhibit evidence of antigenic variation, suggesting that they are under selection by T cell recognition, and may be valuable TB vaccine antigens. Click here for the link to the original article, published in Cell Host and Microbe.
     
  • Bellevue Virology Services was recently ranked in the Top Tier of New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation HIV services. The ranking is based on achievements in 13 different criteria for patient care quality, and represents an advance over the previous two years.
     
  • New original article: Bo Shopsin, MD, PhD, and colleagues discover first correlation between S. aureus virulence factors and patient outcomes.
     
  • Faculty members Cynthia Portal, MD, PhD, and Tom Norton, MD were named Saperstein Scholars for 2015 at the NYU School of Medicine, for their research accomplishments and potential.
     
  • Cynthia Portal, MD, PhD was recently granted a K08 Award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to support her career development and research project, titled: "Molecular mechanism of T cell evasion byMycobacterium tuberculosis".
     
  • Thomas Norton, MD, was recently granted a K08 Award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to support his development as an investigator and to support his research project titled, "Lentiviral Vector Vaccine for HIV-1".
     
  • Faculty members Cynthia Portal, Tom Norton, and Bo Shopsin were all selected to give oral presentations at the 2015 NYU Department of Medicine Research Day retreat.
     
  • Tom Norton, MD, is the recipient of the 2015 Pfizer Young Investigator Award in Vaccine Development for his work on HIV-1 vaccine development using a transgenic mouse model.
     
  • Second-year ID fellow Jason Halperin was elected to Resident/Fellow Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) at the New York University School of Medicine for his commitment to humanism in clinical work, patient advocacy, and passion for teaching.
     
  • The National Institutes of Health recently announced funding for a Tuberculosis Research Unit (TBRU), a collaborative project between NYU, Emory University, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). Drs. Joel Ernst (NYU) and Henry Blumberg (Emory) are the Principal Investigators. More >>
     
  • Dr. Michael Phillips was featured in the New York Times for his leadership as Director of Infection Control and Prevention at NYU Langone, including his recent initiatives in planning for patients with Ebola and other transmissible diseases. Read full article >>
     
  • Second-year fellow Waridibo Allison, MD, PhD, and Ellie Carmody, MD, MPH were awarded an investigator-sponsored research grant from Gilead Sciences to study the knowledge, prevalence and rates of linkage to care for Hepatitis C upon implementation of universal screening in the Bellevue Hospital Emergency Department.
     
  • Cynthia Portal, MD, PhD, and Tom Norton, MDselected for support by the NYU Physician-Scientist Training Program.
     
  • Bo Shopsin, MD, PhD, was awarded a new R01 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, to study mechanisms of virulence and their regulation in Community-Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
     
  • Joel Ernst, MD, was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by Linköping University, Sweden, in recognition of his contributions to building their tuberculosis research programs.
     
  • Ludovic Desvignes, PhD was awarded a grant from the Stony Wold-Herbert Fund, to support his work on the role of type I interferons in the early control of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. His work was recently recognized by an invited presentation at the Pasteur Institute in Paris.