In 2013, Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology and Microbiology Bree Aldridge received an NIH Director’s New Innovator Award and Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship for her groundbreaking work in tuberculosis and infectious disease. Her research utilizes a unique combination of single-cell biology and computational modeling to explore the growth and survival patterns of TB and other mycobacteria. Dr. Aldridge directs the Tufts Center for Tuberculosis Research and holds dual appointments with the School of Medicine and School of Engineering at Tufts University.
David Kaplan is the Stern Family Professor in Engineering and director of the NIH-P41 Resource Center on Tissue Engineering at Tufts. Drs. Kaplan and Aldridge have created novel 3-D models of human lung tissue to study TB and a host of other infectious diseases. Dr. Kaplan is also widely recognized for pioneering work using natural materials such as silk for biomedical applications and regenerative medicine.
In a collaborative project, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering Irene Georgakoudi, a Claflin Distinguished Scholar and National Science Foundation Career awardee, is working with Dr. Aldridge. Together, they are adapting Georgakoudi’s tissue imaging technologies to determine the metabolic state of bacteria, which is considered a determinant of infection and treatment outcome.
John Coffin is a professor of molecular biology and microbiology, an advisor to the HIV Drug Resistance Program of the National Cancer Institute, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Much of his research centers on the complex relationship between pathogens (specifically HIV) and infected hosts, with the goal of understanding how the genetic diversity of a specific pathogen leads to consequences such as drug resistance.