Dr Naomi Walker was awarded Director’s Catalyst Funding to work under the supervision of Henry Mwandumba and Peter MacPherson in LSTM’s Department of Clinical Sciences to investigate markers associated with a TB treatment response, to support the evaluation of therapies for HIV-associated TB, in the UK and Malawi.
TB, caused by the organism, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is the leading killer of people with HIV and the world’s top infectious killer. Globally, up to a quarter of the world’s population have a latent form of the infection with no symptoms. However, when latent TB progresses to active TB disease, immune responses can be harmful, causing lung tissue damage. Current TB treatments do not directly tackle damaging immune responses. Dr Walker aims to identify candidate biomarkers and biosignatures that are associated with TB treatment response, to help predict therapeutic efficacy of novel TB treatments and support the development of host-directed drug candidates to improve TB treatment outcomes.