Belisle Lab

Dr. John Belisle’s research focuses on the biochemistry of bacterial pathogens (in particular Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mycobacterium leprae and Borrelia burgdorferi) and the diseases they cause: tuberculosis, leprosy and Lyme disease. He has a particular interest in how disease-causing bacteria and their hosts respond to one another at a biochemical level.

Research activities in Dr. Belisle’s laboratory have included the purification and characterization of bacterial proteins (including enzymes), lipids, and glycolconjugates; elucidation of biochemical processes; discovery of diagnostic and vaccine antigens; and the definition of specific molecular interactions involving the innate immune response. Most recently, Dr. Belisle has investigated host metabolic responses to identify biochemical pathways altered in response to bacterial infection and disease, and to apply this approach to identify novel biomarkers and biosignatures of disease progression and treatment outcome.

Dr. Belisle is co-director of the Center for Metabolism of Infectious Diseases.

research project

The Study of Host-Pathogen Interactions in Leprosy

The pathogen Mycobacterium leprae is responsible for ~200,000 new cases of leprosy annually. The Belisle laboratory is studying how the metabolism of this obligate intracellular pathogen and the human host are entwined and drive the neuropathology of leprosy. The laboratory also studies how M. leprae products stimulate immune responses.

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research project

Metabolic Responses to Tuberculosis and Tuberculosis Treatment

Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections are responsible for one of the globe’s most common infectious diseases, tuberculosis. Through the application of metabolomics and other research tools, the Belisle laboratory is studying the metabolic response in tuberculosis to develop prognostic markers of disease progression and treatment response, and to further understanding of this pathogen's success.

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research project

Host Metabolic Biosignatures for the Diagnosis and Prognosis of Lyme Disease

Dr. Belisle’s laboratory is investigating the use of metabolomics and host metabolic biosignatures to develop novel diagnostics and prognostics tools for Lyme disease. Lyme disease, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. Diagnosis of early Lyme disease remains difficult and delay in treatment can result in Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome.

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research project

The Center for Metabolism of Infectious Diseases

Along with Dr. Rushika Perera, Dr. Belisle is the co-director of the Center for Metabolism of Infectious Diseases. The center brings together the expertise of over 15 CSU research laboratories to enable development of new treatments, preventions, and diagnostics for infectious diseases by resolving host-vector-pathogen-environment interactions at a metabolic level.

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Metabolic Response in Patients with Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Symptoms/Syndrome.

Fitzgerald BL, Graham B, Delorey MJ, Pegalajar-Jurado A, Islam MN, Wormser GP, Aucott JN, Rebman AW, Soloski MJ, Belisle JT, Molins CR.
Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Sep 25:ciaa1455. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa1455.

Dengue virus dominates lipid metabolism modulations in Wolbachia-coinfected Aedes aegypti.

Koh C, Islam MN, Ye YH, Chotiwan N, Graham B, Belisle JT, Kouremenos KA, Dayalan S, Tull DL, Klatt S, Perera R, McGraw EA.
Commun Biol. 2020 Sep 18;3(1):518. doi: 10.1038/s42003-020-01254-z.

Host Metabolic Response in Early Lyme Disease.

Fitzgerald BL, Molins CR, Islam MN, Graham B, Hove PR, Wormser GP, Hu L, Ashton LV, Belisle JT.
J Proteome Res. 2020 Feb 7;19(2):610-623. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.9b00470. Epub 2020 Jan 9.

Immunoproteomic analysis of Borrelia miyamotoi for the identification of serodiagnostic antigens.

Harris EK, Harton MR, de Mello Marques MA, Belisle JT, Molins CR, Breuner N, Wormser GP, Gilmore RD.
Sci Rep. 2019 Nov 14;9(1):16808. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-53248-5.

Increased serum sialic acid is associated with morbidity and mortality in a murine model of dengue disease.

Espinosa DA, Beatty PR, Puerta-Guardo H, Islam MN, Belisle JT, Perera R, Harris E.
J Gen Virol. 2019 Nov;100(11):1515-1522. doi: 10.1099/jgv.0.001319.

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John Belisle, Ph.D.

Lab Principal Investigator
Co-Director, Center for Metabolism of Infectious Diseases (

Angela De Mello Marques, Ph.D.

Research Scientist III

Nurul Islam, Ph.D.

Research Scientist III

Marisa Harton

Research Associate IV
Lab Manager

Linda Fischbacher

Research Associate I

Lourlie Baniqued
Lourlie Baniqued

Student Researcher

Ava Cecil

Student Researcher

Pedro Olvera
Pedro Olvera

Student Researcher

Willa Sauer

Student Researcher

2022 Belisle Lab in front of the Research Innovation Center (RIC)

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contact information

Office: Research Innovation Center room D111

Lab: Research Innovation Center room D139

(970) 491-8905