Jackson Lab

The Jackson laboratory, as part of the Mycobacteria Research Laboratories, investigates the structure, biosynthesis and transport of cell envelope lipids and (lipo)polysaccharides playing important roles in the physiology and pathogenicity of mycobacteria.

Our laboratory also studies Mycobacterium leprae (the causative agent of leprosy) and emerging non-tuberculous mycobacterial pathogens, the strategies used by these organisms to persist in the environment, and their molecular mechanisms of pathogenicity and resistance to biocides.

Another aspect of our research concerns the development of anti-mycobacterial drugs and the study of their mechanism of action.

research project

Mycobacterial cell envelope (lipo)polysaccharides

Together with immunologists in the MRL and synthetic chemists outside of the University, the Jackson lab investigates how Mycobacterium tuberculosis and nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) synthesize their unique cell envelope polysaccharides and how they alter the structure of these glycans to promote their persistence in the infected host.

research project

Inhibition of mycolic acid biosynthesis

Mycolic acids are major constituents of the outer membrane of mycobacteria and are essential for growth. The Jackson lab is leading international, multidisciplinary, research projects whose objectives are to understand how mycolic acids are synthesized and transported to the outer membrane and to design inhibitors capable of blocking outer membrane assembly.

research project

Leprosy transmission and antibiotic resistance

The Jackson Lab conducts research on the two uncultivable leprosy agents, Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. We explore the genomic epidemiology of leprosy in the context of human-animal transmission and antibiotic resistance and develop molecular tools to detect the pathogens in clinical samples and simultaneously monitor response to treatment.

research project

Recombinant BCG-based COVID-19 vaccine

Mycobacterium bovis BCG, the only approved TB vaccine, is a vaccine platform of choice for the recombinant expression of heterologous antigens owing to its ability to produce long-lasting CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses and its natural adjuvant properties. The Jackson lab is leading a CSU team to develop a recombinant BCG-based COVID-19 vaccine conferring long-lasting protective immunity.


Recent advances in mycobacterial membrane protein Large 3 inhibitor drug design for mycobacterial infections.
North EJ, Schwartz CP, Zgurskaya HI, Jackson M. Expert Opin Drug Discov. 2023 May 24. doi: 10.1080/17460441.2023.2218082. Online ahead of print. PMID: 37226498

Colorado mycobacteria conference 2022: Focus on Nontuberculous mycobacteria.
Ojha AK, Jackson M. Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2023 Mar 24;140:102338. doi: 10.1016/j.tube.2023.102338. Online ahead of print. PMID: 36990056

The Mycobacterium tuberculosis mycothiol S-transferase is divalent metal-dependent for mycothiol binding and transfer.
Jayasinghe YP, Banco MT, Lindenberger JJ, Favrot L, Palčeková Z, Jackson M, Manabe S, Ronning DR. RSC Med Chem. 2023 Jan 26;14(3):491-500. doi: 10.1039/d2md00401a. eCollection 2023 Mar 22. PMID: 36970142

Insights into substrate transport and water permeation in the mycobacterial transporter MmpL3.
Li Y, Acharya A, Yang L, Liu J, Tajkhorshid E, Zgurskaya HI, Jackson M, Gumbart JC. Biophys J. 2023 Mar 16:S0006-3495(23)00171-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2023.03.018. Online ahead of print. PMID: 36926696

Azido Inositol Probes Enable Metabolic Labeling of Inositol-Containing Glycans and Reveal an Inositol Importer in Mycobacteria.
Hodges H, Obeng K, Avanzi C, Ausmus AP, Angala SK, Kalera K, Palcekova Z, Swarts BM, Jackson M. ACS Chem Biol. 2023 Mar 17;18(3):595-604. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.2c00912. Epub 2023 Mar 1. PMID: 36856664

more publications


Mary Jackson, Ph.D.

Lab Principal Investigator [PI]

Shiva Kumar Angala, Ph.D.

Research Scientist II

Juan Belardinelli, Ph.D.

Research Scientist II

Anna Grzegorzewicz, Ph.D.

Research Scientist II

Wei Li, Ph.D.

Research Scientist II

Bill Wheat, Ph.D.

Research Scientist II

Zuzana Palcekova, Ph.D.

Research Scientist I
Lab Manager

Kavita De, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Bhanupriya Angala

Research Associate I

Elena Lian

Graduate Researcher

Lauren Bennett

Student Researcher

Ria Janapati

Student Researcher

Alaine Warren


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