2009 SwissTB Award

Dr. Wilfried Weber

From left to right: Dr. Ronald Schoenmakers, Marc Gitzinger, Prof. Martin Fussenegger, Dr. Wilfried Weber

Using a mycobacteria-derived gene circuit implemented in human cells, we discovered small molecules that shut off the inherent antibiotic resistance of M. tuberculosis to thioamide drugs. Combinatorial application of the newly discovered compound together with the antibiotic ethionamide efficiently killed M. tuberculosis and M. bovis whereas each compound alone was ineffective at the concentration range tested.

These findings which we are currently validating in TB-infected mice, represent a new perspective for an efficient and safe treatment of antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis. 
For more Details see the german version of this page


A synthetic mammalian gene circuit reveals antituberculosis compounds. 
Wilfried Weber*, Ronald Schoenmakers*, Bettina Keller*, Marc Gitzinger*, Thomas Grau†, Marie Daoud-El Baba‡, Peter Sander†§, and Martin Fussenegger*

* Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE), Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zurich, Mattenstrasse 26, CH-4058 Basel, Switzerland; † Institute for Medical Microbiology, University of Zurich, Gloriastrasse 30/32, CH-8006 Zurich, Switzerland; ‡ Université de Lyon, F-69622 Lyon, France; § National Center for Mycobacteria, Gloriastrasse 30, CH-8006 Zurich, Switzerland

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