Solution to a 25-year-old Mystery

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Solution to a 25-year-old Mystery

Dr. Jacobs' Inaugural Article as a new member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in the September 2, 2014 issue of PNAS describes the discovery that the efficient plasmid transformation (ept) phenotype of mc(^2)155 is caused by a loss-of-function mutation in a gene.

Read the Article: Noncanonical SMC protein in Mycobacterium smegmatisrestricts maintenance of Mycobacterium fortuitum plasmids

Read the Biological Profile of Dr. Jacobs as a new NAS member

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UAB Alumni Profile

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UAB Alumni Profile

Phages of Change

UAB Alumnus Revolutionizes Tuberculosis Research

By Meghan Davis

Bill Jacobs cracked one of the great problems in infectious disease research using a mathematician's heart, a molecular biologist's training, and a helpful handful of dirt.

Jacobs, a professor of immunology, microbiology, and genetics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, earned one of the top honors in American science when he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2013. He won the honor, in part, for identifying new ways to target tuberculosis, which is still one of the world's great public health threats. But Jacobs, who earned his Ph.D. in molecular cell biology at UAB in 1985, says it all might not have happened apart from a fateful letter to Birmingham.

While studying math at Edinboro State College near Erie, Pennsylvania (actress Sharon Stone was a classmate), Jacobs took a microbiology course that sparked his interest. He applied to several microbiology graduate programs, but few even bothered to answer his inquiry letters. Then Roy Curtiss, Ph.D., founder of UAB's molecular cell biology graduate program, invited him to Birmingham for an interview and tour.

"I told Roy that I didn't know much biology," Jacobs says. "And he told me, 'There is no sin in being ignorant. The sin is to remain ignorant.' I decided that from that day forward, I wasn't going to be ashamed to ask questions in seminars."

Jacobs says he still uses Curtiss's quote to encourage his own students.

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Faculty of 1000 Recommends JID Paper

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Faculty of 1000 Recommends JID Paper

From F1000-

"This article demonstrates that Mycobacterium tuberculosis induces extracellular trap (ET) formation from not only human neutrophils but also human macrophages. In contrast to neutrophil ETs (NETs), the macrophage ETs (METs) are originated from the nuclei of infected macrophages. Interestingly, only a subset of M. tuberculosis is trapped in the METs, and the majority of bacteria still resides and continually grows in the macrophages. The authors clearly demonstrate that the METs are produced by heavily M. tuberculosis-infected macrophages and that IFN-γ enhances the MET formation and macrophage necrosis via the M. tuberculosis ESX-1 secretion system. This finding demonstrates a new role of IFN-γ in facilitating M. tuberculosis replication in human macrophages, and this process requires M. tuberculosis ESX-1, which is a major virulence factor."

 

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Travis Hartman Successfully Defends his Thesis!

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Travis Hartman Successfully Defends his Thesis!

 

Travis Hartman presented his thesis work today, September 26th 2013, to a receptive crowd and thesis committee. His work details a genetic screen employed to discover the basis for persistence in M. tuberculosis in vitro. 

Congratulations Dr. Hartman!!

-from The Jacobs Lab. 

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Dr. Pablo Gonzalez, Research Fellow, Says Farewell to Jacobs Lab

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Dr. Pablo Gonzalez, Research Fellow, Says Farewell to Jacobs Lab

After a few years and after much progress has been made on creating HSV-2 recombinant strains, Dr. Gonzaelz has chose to leave the Jacobs lab to take an Assistant Professor position at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.  The research interests and goals of his lab are detailed in the complete post. We wish him the best of luck!

 Click "View Post" for a full description of his new lab. 

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Faculty of 1000 Recommends our Paper!

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Faculty of 1000 Recommends our Paper!

September 11, 2013

Our manuscript, "Identification of a small molecule with activity against drug-resistant and persistent tuberculosis"., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2013 (DOI: 10.3410/f.718020433.793483230), has been selected for F1000Prime. It was recommended as being of special significance in its field by Faculty Member Roy Lancaster. 

You can read Dr Lancaster's recommendation at 

http://f1000.com/prime/718020433?subscriptioncode=d474c92e-3bec-4aef-a3bd-bfcee8270361

 Congrats to all of the authors including :

Feng Wang, Dhinakaran Sambandan, Rajkumar

Halder, Jianing Wang, Sarah Batt, Brian C. Weinrick, Insha Ahmad1, Pengyu Yang, Yong Zhang, John Kim, Morad Hassani, Stanislav Huszar, Claudia Trefzer, Zhenkun Ma, Takushi Kaneko, Khisi Mdluli, Scott Franzblau, Arnab Chatterjee, Kai Johnsson, Katarina Mikusova, Gurdyal Besra, Klaus Fütterer, William R. Jacobs, Jr. ,  and Peter G. Schultz

Click "View Post" to read the review.

Click here for a copy of the PNAS Paper

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Jacob's Lab Outing 2013

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Jacob's Lab Outing 2013

On August 29th, 2013 The Jacobs Lab took a trip to Glen Island Park in New Rochelle, NY for a picnic. There were many competitions that day including a hot-dog cooking contest between Dr. Adel Malek and Dr. Pablo Gonzales.  Please check out some of the photos from that day taken by our very own John Kim and Dr. Paras Jain

 

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