Podell Lab

Dr. Podell’s laboratory studies the pathogenesis of tuberculosis (TB) to better understand the host immune response to M. tuberculosis infection, known as the granuloma. Our laboratory focuses on identifying immune correlates of protection against M. tuberculosis, the influence of acquired risk factors on the spectrum of TB disease outcomes, and the influence of metabolism on host response to infection. Through this research, we aim to identify targeted responses for vaccine candidates and new approaches to host-directed therapy for improving the prevention and treatment of TB.

research project

Immune Mechanisms of Protection Against TB Center (IMPAc-TB)

The mechanisms of immune function that correlate with protection from M. tuberculosis infection remain elusive. This limits our ability to improve upon vaccination strategies. Using a harmonized cross-species approach, this multi-center award applies innovative computational pathology approaches to better understand vaccine-induced immunity in situ.

research project

The role of vitamin A in TB pathogenesis

Vitamin A deficiency increases the risk of progression to clinically active TB disease by up to 10-fold in human subjects. Known as the “anti-infective” vitamin, vitamin A plays a critical in immunity to infection. Our goal is to understand how a deficiency in vitamin A alters immune function in TB, and whether supplementation represents a treatment approach.

research project

Immune dysfunction in the comorbidity of diabetes and tuberculosis

The incidence of type 2 diabetes is rapidly increasing in nations where TB is endemic. Increasing the risk of TB disease progression by 3-fold, there is a critical need to understand how uncontrolled diabetes impacts TB immunity and whether diabetes management can improve the response to infect.

research project

Lipid antigens in immunity to TB

CD1 is an antigen presentation molecule exclusive to lipid antigens. Specific cell wall lipids of the organism M. tuberculosis serve as CD1-restricted antigens for T cells. The goal of this research is to understand which lipids participate in the immune response within infected tissue and whether CD1 contributes to protection from progressive TB disease.


Therapeutic efficacy against Mycobacterium tuberculosis using ID93 and liposomal adjuvant formulations.

Baldwin SL, Reese VA, Larsen SE, Pecor T, Brown BP, Granger B, Podell BK, Fox CB, Reed SG, Coler RN.
Front Microbiol. 2022 Aug 26;13:935444. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.935444. eCollection 2022. PMID: 36090093

The Impact of Vitamin A Deficiency on Tuberculosis Progression.

Podell BK, Aibana O, Huang CC, DiLisio JE, Harris MC, Ackart DF, Armann K, Grover A, Severe P, Juste MAJ, Dupnik K, Basaraba RJ, Murray MB.
Clin Infect Dis. 2022 Apr 29:ciac326. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciac326. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35486953

Mycobacterium tuberculosis precursor rRNA as a measure of treatment-shortening activity of drugs and regimens.

Walter ND, Born SEM, Robertson GT, Reichlen M, Dide-Agossou C, Ektnitphong VA, Rossmassler K, Ramey ME, Bauman AA, Ozols V, Bearrows SC, Schoolnik G, Dolganov G, Garcia B, Musisi E, Worodria W, Huang L, Davis JL, Nguyen NV, Nguyen HV, Nguyen ATV, Phan H, Wilusz C, Podell BK, Sanoussi ND, de Jong BC, Merle CS, Affolabi D, McIlleron H, Garcia-Cremades M, Maidji E, Eshun-Wilson F, Aguilar-Rodriguez B, Karthikeyan D, Mdluli K, Bansbach C, Lenaerts AJ, Savic RM, Nahid P, Vásquez JJ, Voskuil MI.
Nat Commun. 2021 May 18;12(1):2899. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-22833-6. PMID: 34006838

Metformin enhances protection in guinea pigs chronically infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Frenkel JDH, Ackart DF, Todd AK, DiLisio JE, Hoffman S, Tanner S, Kiran D, Murray M, Chicco A, Obregón-Henao A,Podell BK, Basaraba RJ.
Sci Rep. 2020 Oct 1;10(1):16257. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-73212-y.

Digital Image Analysis of Heterogeneous Tuberculosis Pulmonary Pathology in Non-Clinical Animal Models using Deep Convolutional Neural Networks.

Asay BC, Edwards BB, Andrews J, Ramey ME, Richard JD,Podell BK, Gutiérrez JFM, Frank CB, Magunda F, Robertson GT, Lyons M, Ben-Hur A, Lenaerts AJ.
Sci Rep. 2020 Apr 8;10(1):6047. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-62960-6.

more publications


Brendan Podell, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Lab Principal Investigator [PI]
Assistant Professor

Forrest Ackart

Research Associate III

Mac Harris, D.V.M.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Sarah Cooper

Graduate Research Assistant

Emily Schmid

Student Researcher

news and updates view all