After discovering a unique group of people resistant to tuberculosis (TB) infection, Case Western Reserve researchers are leading an international team dedicated to understanding exactly how they fight off a disease that claims 1.5 million lives each year.

This new initiative combines a $3.5 million award from the National Institutes of Health and a $650,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The team is concentrating on the lungs – the most regular site of TB infections. The researchers will examine the phenotypes – in essence, all of the observable characteristics of genes in those with and without infections – as well as gene expression – the process and content of instructions the gene provides for the formation of molecules, usually proteins.