What Inspires Members of the MRL

The MRL is one of the largest consortia of mycobacterial researchers in the world, and our laboratories and specialized research facilities span all three CSU Fort Collins campuses. These past couple of years have brought significant changes and challenges to our call to researching the devastating diseases caused by mycobacteria. For World TB Day this year, we re-commit to our calling, and share what inspires each of us to work in this field and at the MRL.

World TB Day activities
World TB Day Activities in 2019

“What inspires me the most is our community. Every member of the MRL has a unique perspective and expertise, and every member is encouraged and supported in sharing that expertise. Collectively, this allows us to have greater diversity and impact in our research!” – MRL member

“My work is the way I express my love for human life and health. Being part of MRL was my dream. This big team all working towards finding the best ways to deal with the world’s oldest and most devastating diseases is an inspiration every day.” – MHT

“TB is a devastating disease. It affects the lives of millions of people every year. I am inspired to know I am part of a group or amazing researchers that spend their careers trying to understand this disease, and find better treatments, diagnostic tools, and vaccines. It is inspiring to know that our work has the potential to change lives.” – MRL member

“Tuberculosis is still one of the leading causes of mortality globally, especially in developing countries (from where I belong). There are treatments, which include a combination of different antibiotics for at least six months; however, this prolonged antibiotic treatment made the person’s immune system weak, made them more prone to secondary infections, and took them a long time to recover from this situation. The latter reinforces my desire to work in the tuberculosis field and develop new strategies for treatment and therapeutics by understanding the host’s immune responses to pathogens. What inspires me to work in MRL is the collaborative work environment. I firmly believe that we want to do something great and if we’re going to solve a big problem, we need to work together. The combined results of several people working together are often much more effective than could be that of an individual scientist working alone. Every faculty in MRL has expertise; for example, some lab has expertise in designing animal models of TB, another lab is an expert in immunology, and another one in studying metabolism. Now imagine all of this expertise combined and putting on one table. For me, it is more like an Avengers movie, where all the Avengers (we the scientists) make the team and fight against the enemy (TB). Therefore, I like working in MRL because people are more collaborative and want these collaborations to grow stronger and stronger! ” – Taru S Dutt

Mary Jackson, Juan Bellardinelli, Anna Grzegorzewicz

“The perseverance of the MRL inspires me. We work with organisms that are pretty unique and often present their own types of challenges, particularly the speed at which studies can progress. We also have seen significant hurdles for continued funding yet this group finds a way to push through. I am inspired by the stream of creative ideas and collaborations to tackle mycobacterial diseases which are (for the most part) often assumed insignificant or already solved by the general public in developed countries. The grace with which our community responds to questions about why we are still working on this is astonishing. I am proud to be part of the MRL.” – MRL Member

“Challenges in TB research; individual contribution of diverse faculty; teaching the young scientists.” – DC

“Glorious past, excellence and vision for stand-out future.” – Raj De

“Working with world renowned scientists to address a medically important disease.” – Ric Slayden

“Tuberculosis is one of the oldest diseases and it continues to be one of the top infectious disease killer in the world. TB being a communicable disease, we still have about a quarter of the world’s population either infected or at risk of developing the active disease. The MRL is a community of mycobacterial researchers with varied expertise and it’s a dream come true to be working with and around such diverse group of researchers. What inspires me the most everyday is that I am a part of a group of people who do their best to find better ways to diagnose, treat and cure one of the oldest disease known to mankind.” – AGA

“The real possibility to make a difference in the fight against TB and the passion of fellow MRL colleagues has been my inspiration in this field.” – CP

Members of the Podell Lab

“People think that tuberculosis is a thing of the past, but it’s still such a deviating disease and we have so much more to learn about it.” – MRL member

“Mycobacteria causing TB, leprosy and non-tuberculous mycobacterial infections are major pathogens that cause a lot of suffering, are extremely difficult to treat, and are often not diagnosed early enough to prevent patients from developing chronic disease and, in some cases, permanent disabilities. Addressing such a challenge requires a team of dedicated scientists from diverse backgrounds and with complementary expertise, working productively together and with scientists around the world with patients’ well-being as their top priority. The MRL is the place to do this.” – MCJ