Eric Nuermberger, MD
The primary research focus in my laboratory is translational research related to TB drug development. Using established animal and in vitro models of active and latent TB infection and relying on pharmacodynamic principles, our major goal is to identify and optimize new drugs and drug combinations to shorten and/or simplify TB treatment and restrict the emergence of drug resistance. Over the past 15 years, our work has informed the development of a number of new and repurposed drugs, including moxifloxacin, rifapentine, bedaquiline, PA-824, and the oxazolidinones sutezolid and linezolid, as well as novel combinations containing these drugs. We continue to refine existing models and develop new models for pre-clinical drug efficacy studies, including murine models of cavitary TB and a flow-controlled in vitro system for studying the pharmacodynamics of new drugs and combinations.
A second research interest is applying similar approaches to improve the treatment of Buruli ulcer, an emerging yet neglected tropical disease characterized by enlarging and ultimately disabling skin ulcers caused by infection with Mycobacterium ulcerans and production of its unique cytotoxin mycolactone. Only in the last decade has chemotherapy replaced surgery as the preferred therapeutic option, especially for early lesions. However, early lesions are difficult to detect with available diagnostics and the current regimen of streptomycin and rifampin for 8 weeks has many drawbacks. We aim to translate advances in the TB drug development space and novel ideas for detection of mycolactone in biological samples to improve therapeutics and point-of-care diagnostics.