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, and the Belisle Lab is a part of the Mycobacteria Research Laboratories.

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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Publications

Drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: cell envelope profiles and interactions with the host.
Schami A, Islam MN, Belisle JT, Torrelles JB.Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2023 Oct 27;13:1274175. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2023.1274175. eCollection 2023.PMID: 38029252

Immunological and metabolic characterization of environmental Mycobacterium chimaera infection in a murine model.
Dawrs SN, Virdi R, Islam MN, Hasan NA, Norton GJ, Crooks JL, Parr J, Heinz D, Cool CD, Belisle JT, Chan ED, Honda JR. Microbes Infect. 2023 Nov-Dec;25(8):105184. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2023.105184. Epub 2023 Jul 14. PMID: 37453489

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid-Derived Lipid Mediators as Potential Biomarkers for Leprosy Among Individuals with Asymptomatic Mycobacterium leprae Infection.
Silva CAM, Graham BG, Webb K, Islam MN, Harton M, de Mello Marques MA, Marques de Carvalho F, Pinheiro RO, Spencer J, Sarno EN, Batista Pereira GM, Vidal Pessolani MC, Santos de Macedo C, Belisle JT. ACS Infect Dis. 2023 Aug 11;9(8):1458-1469. doi: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.2c00585. Epub 2023 Jul 10. PMID: 37428112

Localization of EccA3 at the growing pole in Mycobacterium smegmatis.
Kriel NL, Newton-Foot M, Bennion OT, Aldridge BB, Mehaffy C, Belisle JT, Walzl G, Warren RM, Sampson SL, Gey van Pittius NC. BMC Microbiol. 2022 May 19;22(1):140. doi: 10.1186/s12866-022-02554-6. PMID: 35590245

Biomarker selection and a prospective metabolite-based machine learning diagnostic for lyme disease.
Kehoe ER, Fitzgerald BL, Graham B, Islam MN, Sharma K, Wormser GP, Belisle JT, Kirby MJ. Sci Rep. 2022 Jan 27;12(1):1478. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-05451-0.PMID: 35087163

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People

John Belisle, Ph.D.

Lab Principal Investigator
Professor
Co-Director, Center for Metabolism of Infectious Diseases (C4MInD.org)

Angela De Mello Marques, Ph.D.

Research Scientist III

Marisa Harton

Research Associate IV
Lab Manager

Linda Fischbacher

Research Associate I

Zaithun Mohamed Rafeeldeen
Zaithun Mohamed Rafeeldeen

Graduate Research Assistant

Matheus Rocha
Matheus Rocha

Visiting Ph.D. Student
FIOCRUZ, Brazil

John Albo
John Albo

Student Researcher

Grace Alexander
Grace Alexander

Student Researcher

Lina Alvarez

Student Researcher

Lourlie Baniqued
Lourlie Baniqued

Student Researcher

Cice Kim
Cice Kim

Student Researcher

David Vetter

Student Researcher

Machenzie Wernsman

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