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The Immune Mechanisms of Protection Against Mycobacterium tuberculosis Centers (IMPAc-TB) program is an initiative established by NIAID in 2019 to elucidate the immune responses needed to protect against infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb). The program will lead to a better understanding of tuberculosis (TB) immunology, which is critical to guide the design and development of new and improved TB vaccines, and it aligns with the goals of the NIAID Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Research (see a PDF of the full strategic plan).

Under this initiative, three IMPAc-TB contracts were awarded to the following principal investigators:

  • Rhea Coler, MSc, PhD, Seattle Children’s Research Institute: Coler Lab
  • Kevin Urdahl, MD, PhD, Seattle Children’s Research Institute: Urdahl Lab
  • Sarah Fortune, MD, Harvard University, Henry Boom, MD, Case Western Reserve University, JoAnn Flynn, PhD, University of Pittsburgh: Fortune Lab

Phoenix IMPAc-TB Contract Under Dr. Rhea Coler

The goal of the Phoenix IMPAc-TB contract is to comprehensively identify the complex immune responses required to prevent M.tb infection or active TB disease by comparing and interrogating the mycobacteria- and vaccine-induced protective immunity in several animal species and in man.

The overarching paradigm of this project is that identification and validation of common protective correlates of immunity against M.tb (a NIAID Category C pathogen) in escalating preclinical animal models of TB, nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) exposure, and human challenge experimental medicine clinical studies, will be crucial in the rational design and development of candidate vaccines that generate robust levels of durable, protective immunity against TB. We have assembled a team of researchers from eight academic or translational institutions who are leaders in various fields, including preclinical animal models of TB, human challenge models, clinical and systems immunology, genomics, microbiology, statistical and bioinformatics methodology, nanoparticle formulation, cGMP manufacturing through fill and finish, regulatory, quality control, clinical trials, and development of linked platform technologies and immunology assessments.

Coler Lab Phoenix IMPAc-TB Team at Seattle Children’s Research Institute

Hazem Abdelaal Hazem Abdelaal

Fellow PhD

Sabiriin  Abdi Sabiriin Abdi

Student Helper

Sasha (Larsen)  Akins Sasha (Larsen) Akins

Research Scientist IV

Susan  Baldwin Susan Baldwin

Research Scientist, Senior

Bryan Berube Bryan Berube

Research Scientist IV

Bryan  Brown Bryan Brown

Acting Assistant Professor

Debora  Ferede Debora Ferede

Research Technician I

Matthew  Harband Matthew Harband

Research Technician I

Rakhi  Harne Rakhi Harne

Fellow PhD

Suhavi Kaur Suhavi Kaur

Research Technician II

Dana  Miller Dana Miller

Research Technician I

Deepika  Nag Deepika Nag

Fellow PhD

Tiffany  Pecor-Korman Tiffany Pecor-Korman

Research Associate III

Thomas  Smytheman Thomas Smytheman

Research Technician II

Alison  Wald Alison Wald

Scientific Project Manager I

Brittany Williams Brittany Williams

Graduate Student

Zhiyi Zhu Zhiyi Zhu

Research Scientist II


Phoenix IMPAc-TB Partners

Logos of Phoenix IMPAc-TB partners