SBRI Adds Principal Investigator For TB Drug Discovery

Date: 
Tue, 04/17/2007

SEATTLE, April 17, 2007 – Highly-regarded tuberculosis researcher David Sherman, Ph.D., has joined SBRI to build a research program focused on much-needed new drugs to combat TB, which is rapidly reemerging around the world. With Sherman’s addition, SBRI has 15 key scientists, called principal investigators, leading research programs focused on a variety of global infectious diseases and targeted at  discovering new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics.

Sherman comes to SBRI from the University of Washington, where he served as an associate professor of pathobiology in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine. Sherman’s research is centered on the bacterial and host strategies that make Mycobacterium tuberculosis one of the world's most successful human pathogens, with about one-third of the world population infected and two million deaths annually.

"We've taken the first step toward building a world-class TB program by recruiting Dr. Sherman, who is a wellknown expert in TB drug discovery," said Ken Stuart, Ph.D., president and founder of SBRI. "Developing faster-acting, stronger drugs that can beat the wiliness of the TB bacterium is top priority for SBRI.” Drug-resistance strains of TB are increasingly virulent and pose a worldwide threat to global health, given the ease with which TB can be transmitted. The course of treatment for currently available drugs is long – often up to a year – so noncompliance is common.

“TB is one of the world’s great neglected diseases and is also one of the world’s most complicated biological puzzles,” said Sherman. “I enjoy working with very talented people the world over to tackle challenging and important biological problems. SBRI’s scientists are well-regarded for their excellence in infectious disease research, so I’m excited about joining the team.”

SBRI is building on the success of a nascent TB program. In 2003, SBRI researchers assisted local health officials in pinpointing the sources of the largest outbreak of TB in Seattle in more than 30 years. SBRI's next steps to increase its TB research will be building specialized facilities, purchasing equipment and recruiting additional researchers to join Dr. Sherman.

ABOUT SBRI:
SBRI advances global health. Our infectious disease research is the foundation for new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics that benefit those who need our help most: the 14 million who will otherwise die each year from infectious diseases. A non-profit organization founded in 1976, SBRI has more than 200 staff members working in research labs in Seattle and field labs in Tanzania. By partnering with key collaborators around the globe, we ensure that our discoveries will save lives sooner. For more information, visit www.sbri.org.

For more information, contact:
Lee Schoentrup, Sr. SBRI Communications Manager
206.256.7440
lee.schoentrup@sbri.org