Featured Story: The digital Petri dish/
Watch the Interview with MTBSS project partners Patrick Groves and Shekhar Mande here!
Tuberculosis is a debilitating infectious disease that is a serious health threat, particularly in its multi-drug-resistant forms. We aim to combine bioinformatics tools and resources with NMR structural biology to identify and screen new drug targets against TB.
Chemical screening generates a large number of positive 'hits' that require time-consuming and expensive verification in cell and animal models before clinical trials can take place. Many 'hits' fail the toxicology screens. Using bioinformatics, we will use in-silico methodologies to identify the key proteins involved in the biochemical pathways of pathogen survival and evaluate their influence on human toxicity. We will develop chains of in-silico screening steps to apply to our positive, TB 'hits' against the identified tox-blocks. The molecular modelling methods will be verified by experimental NMR methods. Our second aim is to develop a rapid, inexpensive and computer-based filter within a self contained and narrow targeted pilot study that can be widely applied to the early stages of other drug screening projects.
Our consortium consists of bioinformatics and structural biology groups in India (CDFD), Portugal (ITQB, IGC) and Spain (CIPF). The bioinformatics studies will be carried out at IGC, CIPF and CDFD; NMR screening will be supported by established teams at ITQB and CIPF; structural biology at CDFD and CIPF will be supported by ITQB; molecular modelling will be performed at CIPF with support from IGC and CDFD. We plan two management meetings, in India and Iberia (Portugal/Spain) for the team leaders. Symposia, workshops and training sessions will be associated with the main exchanges: external experts will be invited and future collaboration discussed. Existing training programs will offer innovative opportunities for younger researchers in the scope of NewIndigo. The working methodologies will be evaluated and results published in established peer-reviewed scientific journals.